The Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program at USC (AYA@USC) is holding its third David Stroud Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Symposium on April 1. The event provides medical professionals, patients and their families an opportunity to learn about developments in research and care for adolescent and young adult cancer patients.

The event is sponsored in part by Dan and Jacqui Stroud, whose son, David, was treated for Hodgkin lymphoma at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

There will be talks on physical therapy, economics, fertility, mindfulness, and nutrition; including one seminar about fasting as a tool to enhance cancer treatment and another about foods that can make a difference for teens and young adults with cancer. Also on the agenda is a discussion of recent survival trends among adolescents and young adults in Los Angeles County.

This first of this year’s two keynote addresses will be given by Dennis Deapen, DPH, professor of clinical preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Kate Yglesias Houghton, president of Critical Mass: The Young Adult Cancer Alliance, will discuss public policy and address opportunities for legislative action to improve health care for young adults with cancer in the second address.

There also will be a panel discussion with AYA@USC’s clinical team members from the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and CHLA. This panel will discuss ways to incorporate the key themes of the day into practical application for health care professionals.

The discipline of caring for adolescents and young adults with cancer is still an emerging specialty. Though there is overlap between pediatric and adult cancer care, medical professionals have grown increasingly aware of the special needs of adolescents and young adults with cancer.

In 2005, the National Cancer Institute identified five recommendations to improve care for adolescent and young adult cancer patients, one of which was to provide training and education. This symposium is one way AYA@USC is helping address the need for continuing education for medical professionals who treat this group of cancer patients.

— Hope Hamashige