Adolescents and Young Adults (AYA) diagnosed with cancer have a unique set of challenges throughout their cancer journey and historically there have been limited formal clinical trials available to this population. To help support research in this important yet underserved segment of the Canadian cancer population, 3CTN is facilitating the development of a new clinical trial for the AYA population. The process began in the spring of 2015 with the release of a request for applications, which asked AYA researchers to submit clinical trial proposals.
Over the past few months, through a formal review and selection process, one project proposal for a trial in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) was ultimately selected. On November 30 2015, 3CTN and our collaborators* held a workshop in Montreal, Quebec focused on developing this proposed pan-Canadian clinical trial. The workshop brought together principal investigators and site research staff from many Canadian pediatric and adult cancer centres with the common goal of launching a trial to address current knowledge gaps in AYA ALL therapy. Topics covered at the workshop included prioritizing the clinical needs of AYA ALL patients, identification of potential new agents and the status of the relevant diagnostic tests that will be required for a trial. A smaller working group will now focus on designing a draft protocol for a study to open within the next year. Clinical trials targeted to AYA with ALL will ultimately improve the standard of care and health outcomes for this population.
After the workshop, 3CTN provided a satisfaction survey and invited participants to provide feedback on the workshop. Nearly 70 per cent of attendees responded to the survey and indicated that overall, they were pleased with the workshop and that it met its stated goals and objectives.
The final goal of this AYA ALL trial development process will be a clinical trial in which Network centres can participate via the 3CTN Portfolio. Collectively our Network’s involvement may help decrease the knowledge gap in therapy for AYA Canadians diagnosed with ALL.