Adolescents and Young Adults

Adolescents and young adults (AYAs, aged between 15 – 25 years) participate in cancer clinical trials at a rate that is lower than younger children or older adults. Age eligibility in cancer clinical trials commonly ceases (for paediatric trials), or begins (for adult trials), at 18 years. In terms of cancer biology, this age division is relatively arbitrary.

Excluding clinical trial participants based on age alone can result in data that is not full representative. The VCCC Increasing Adolescent and Young Adult Clinical Trial Access Program has identified barriers and seeks to implement mechanisms and processes that provide access to clinical trials.

Guidelines for inclusion

The program steering committee has reviewed and approved ‘Establishing a cancer clinical trial with age eligibility encompassing adolescents and young adults (AYA): Research Ethics and Governance Guidelines.

The guidelines are based on standard operating procedures observed by research and ethics governance offices located by the Royal Children’s Hospital and the Royal Melbourne Hospital (Melbourne Health).

Download a copy of the guideline for an ethical approval processes model.