Established in 2017, the AYA Cancer Program at UT Health San Antonio represents a collaboration across pediatric and adult oncology to improve outcomes for a vulnerable population of cancer patients, age 15-39, that are often caught “in-between” service lines developed for younger children or older adults. Components of the program include clinical care, education, research, community outreach and AYA-specific support services. Our clinical care resources include a dedicated AYA inpatient unit and lounge (age 18-39), located at University Hospital that includes AYA-dedicated staff. We offer clinical trial screening for all AYAs for treatment, biology, supportive care and cancer care delivery as well as referral to fertility counseling and fertility preservation services, counseling and social work services, and genetic counseling. The National Cancer Institute defines “AYA” as age 15-39 years at the time of a cancer diagnosis. Over 70,000 AYA diagnosed with cancer each year in the US, and cancer is the leading cause of disease-related death for this age group. Unlike children <15 years and older adults age >39 years, AYAs have not experienced equivalent survival gains in over four decades, a phenomenon called the “AYA Gap”. AYA are also the most underrepresented in clinical trials. Here in South Texas, we are particularly concerned that the 5-year survival of AYAs significantly reduced in minorities.
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Director: Allison Grimes, MD MSCI (Pediatric Oncology)
Co-Director: Elizabeth Bowhay-Carnes, MD (Medical Oncology)