Adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer constitute a particular group of patients with unique features, whose needs during and after treatment are poorly met. A standardized model of care for them has yet to be established, as neither the pediatric nor the adult oncology systems seamlessly fit their needs. Regardless of the setting in which they are treated, their health care providers should be aware of the impact that the disease and its treatments have on these especially vulnerable patients. Simple ways of improving the AYA experience should be considered: reducing isolation through connections with peers, adapting the staff's approach to the emotional and developmental needs of this age group, and modifying the hospital environment making it more age appropriate. Commitment of national governments is valuable; building and sharing international experience will accelerate advances in clinical care, education, and research. Further progress in the care of AYA cancer patients is still needed to improve their outcomes.
From the *Pediatric Oncology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nationale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy; and
†Departments of Pediatrics, Pathology and Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.
Reprints: Andrea Ferrari, MD, Pediatric Oncology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Via G. Venezian, 1-20133 Milan, Italy. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.