Young Adults to Paediatric Trials

Paediatric oncology trials often have an age eligibility that extends into adulthood. However, these trials may only be open at a children's hospital. This limits young adults' (aged 18-25 years) access to clinical trials, as they are over the age of admission at children’s hospitals.

There are two possible solutions for young adults to access paediatric trials.

Trials to patients model

In this model, young adults would be able to remain in their adult oncology centre, but still participate in the clinical trial. While this solution is considered the best for the patient, it requires systems-level collaboration and change between paediatric and adult cancer centres, which will take time to establish and is a focus of ongoing work.

Strategies being explored include:

  • Shared clinical trial governance arrangements between paediatric and adult oncology clinical trial units
  • A ‘teletrials’ model, whereby the paediatric centre conducting the trial partners with an adult cancer centre to deliver the trial to the young adult patient.

Patients to trials model

This model bridges the gap until further progress can be made with the ‘trials to patients’ model.

A hospital standard operating procedure (SOP) and associated application form is available to support a formal request for young adults who are eligible to participate in a paediatric trial to be allowed access to the children’s hospital for this purpose. The SOP requires the completion of an access request form that provides the children’s hospital executive with the information required to assess each request on a patient-by-patient basis.

The process enables both a swift response, and a transparent and documented outcome. Piloting of the SOP in the VCCC alliance setting has enabled four young adult access permissions in the first four months of operation.