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Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program

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Overview

Research shows that teens and young adults with certain kinds of cancer have much better treatment results when they’re treated at a pediatric hospital like Akron Children’s. Nearly 40% of our patients are adolescents and young adults, and the care we provide goes beyond helping them beat cancer.

Teens and young adults with cancer often face different personal, emotional, social and medical challenges than younger children and older adults. Even their response to therapy and risks for side effects are different.

That’s why we developed a dedicated program to help cancer patients 12 to 25 years of age through all stages of their healthcare journey, from diagnosis and treatment to remission and survivorship. We offer everything from fertility preservation and access to the latest clinical trials (including phase 1 and targeted therapies) to academic and emotional support.  

A team approach.

Our team approach provides care that not only addresses the disease but also our patients' educational, emotional, financial and psychological needs. The team is supported by research and includes pediatric oncologists, reproductive medicine specialists, psychologists, social workers, child life specialists, pharmacists and patient navigators.

We work with each patient to develop a care plan that's tailored to their specific situation, so they can meet their full potential, during and after cancer treatment.

Advancing cures.

Research is crucial to advancing targeted therapies and developing new, effective treatments to find a cure.

Our pediatric hematology-oncology division actively participates in national clinical trials for childhood cancers as well as research that explores the causes and treatment of these diseases.

We place a high priority on enrolling our patients in clinical trials as studies have shown they yield improved outcomes. Our participation in the Children’s Oncology Group and the Advanced Cancer Therapies Network (ACTN) provides our patients with access to novel and promising pediatric cancer research therapies.  

Supporting school success.

When teens and young adults undergo cancer treatment, they often feel isolated from friends and family. They may feel disconnected from their peers and worry about losing their independence or falling behind in school.

Our School and Community Oncology Outreach Program (SCOOP) is aimed at supporting our patients' social and academic needs. It includes an oncology outreach coordinator and school teacher. Together, they help patients make a smooth transition back to school after an extended absence.

Life after treatment.

Care doesn’t stop after cancer treatment. More than half of childhood cancer survivors develop at least one type of late effect or problem related to the treatment or from the cancer itself.

That’s why we provide follow-up care and enhanced medical supervision through our cancer survivorship program. 

Specialized care.

Just as the treatment of childhood cancer requires a very specialized approach, so does the follow-up and monitoring of late effects, which can be subtle and difficult to diagnose. 

Our team of pediatric oncologists, social workers, psychologists, audiologists, physical therapists, nutritionists, geneticists and other medical specialists are specially trained to help detect, prevent and treat any late effects. We care for any childhood cancer survivor who has been off treatment for 2 years, up to age 25.

We also help childhood cancer survivors transition to adulthood and serve as a resource for their primary care doctor.

Types of late effects.

Late effects typically vary based on the type of cancer, the treatments used, the age of the child at the time of diagnosis, and how long it has been since the cancer survivor completed treatment.

Common late effects include:

  • Learning difficulties
  • Abnormal bone growth or growth disorders
  • Thyroid problems
  • Hearing loss
  • Vision problems
  • Dental problems
  • Lung, liver or kidney problems
  • Heart problems
  • Fertility issues
  • Increased risk of future cancers

These late effects can often be prevented, controlled or improved if anticipated and detected early.

Life after cancer.

Regular, long-term medical follow-up and social support are as important as treating the cancer.

Our team will help identify and address any late effects of the cancer treatment, provide individualized information about the treatment used to save the patient's life, and offer education on survivor resources and lifestyle recommendations to help them lead a healthy and long life after cancer.

We’ll also assist with other unique needs and concerns such as school, job and insurance issues and provide physical and emotional support.

Locations/Contact Us

Contact Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program

330-543-8580

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Cancer and Blood Disorders
Akron Children's Hospital
214 W. Bowery Street
Akron, Ohio 44308
Fax: 330-543-3220
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Map & directions

Our Doctors/Providers

Laura Gerak
Laura Gerak, PhD

Pediatric Psychologist

Pamela Jones
Pamela Jones, MSN, RN, CPON

Coordinator, Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program; Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Alexis Judd
Alexis Judd, MPAS, PA-C

Physician Assistant

Daniel Pettee
Daniel Pettee, DO

Director, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program; Director, Solid Tumor Program; Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist

Stephanie Savelli
Stephanie Savelli, MD

Director, Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program; Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program; Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist

Open Clinical Studies

Safety and Effectiveness of Apixaban in Preventing Blood Clots in Children With Leukemia

The purpose of this study is to compare the effect of a blood thinning drug called Apixaban versus no administration of a blood thinning drug, in preventing blood clots in children with leukemia or lymphoma. Patients must be receiving chemotherapy; including Pegylated L-Asparaginase and have a central line (a catheter inserted for administration of medications and blood sampling).

Complete study information:  https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02369653

More about this study...

Currently recruiting

Eligibility

If you have a cancer diagnosis and are 25 years or younger, we invite you to call 330-543-8580 for information about our programs or to set-up and appointment.

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