Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Experts Unite to Form First-of-its-Kind Consortium

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Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Experts Unite to Form First-of-its-Kind Consortium

The Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) – the nation’s largest non-profit organization devoted exclusively to funding innovative lymphoma research and serving the lymphoma community through a comprehensive series of education programs, outreach initiatives, and patient services – has announced the formation of its Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Lymphoma Consortium. 

This consortium is the first collaboration of its kind, a broad multidisciplinary effort aimed at advancing the study of AYA lymphomas and improving treatments and care for this patient population, from the point of diagnosis through long-term survival. The newly elected Consortium Executive Committee members will seek to organize the body’s efforts by continuously identifying gaps in knowledge which may be prioritized for research funding, optimization of clinical outcomes, and discovery for AYA lymphomas. In addition, the AYA Lymphoma Consortium and its membership will seek to support LRF’s #EraseLymphoma initiative and raise awareness of the Foundation’s AYA patient education efforts. 

“LRF’s AYA Consortium provides a unique forum for the world’s leading AYA researchers to share scientific and clinical findings, exchange ideas, and plan new collaborations,” said Meghan Gutierrez, Chief Executive Officer of the Lymphoma Research Foundation. “Research investment in such underserved populations is critical to understanding how to better care for these patients and LRF is proud to foster the collaboration that accelerates these findings.”   

The AYA Consortium is led by LRF’s prestigious Scientific Advisory Board members Andrew Evens, DO, MBA, MSc of the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and RWJBarnabas Health and Kara Kelly, MD of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Both Dr. Evens and Dr. Kelly are globally recognized lymphoma researchers with a unique interest in the AYA patient population. 

“There is a critical need to study lymphomas that occur in adolescents and young adults (AYA),” said Dr. Evens, co-chair of the AYA Lymphoma Consortium. “I’m honored to help lead this vital consortium and am excited to see what we can accomplish together as a collaborative and cross-disciplinary consortium to improve acute and long-term outcomes for those impacted by these cancers.” 

“LRF’s efforts in bringing together the diverse stakeholders from the pediatric and adult lymphoma fields are already making a difference in impacting care of AYA’s,” said Dr. Kelly, co-chair of the AYA Lymphoma Consortium. “The work we do together will provide a blueprint for additional collaboration that will deepen our understanding of AYA lymphoma and facilitate improvements in survivorship care for the diverse population that we care for.” 

Other members of the AYA Lymphoma Consortium executive committee include pediatric oncologists, adult oncologists, laboratory and translational cancer researchers, epidemiologists, health services, survivorship, and quality of life experts from top institutions across the world. 

AYA Steering Committee Members 

Kieron M. Dunleavy, MD
Medstar Georgetown University Hospital 

Jamie Flerlage, MD
University of Rochester 

Lisa Giulino-Roth, MD
Weill Cornell Medicine 

Tara Henderson, MD
University of Chicago  

Justine Kahn, MD
The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York 

Lindsay M. Morton, PhD
National Cancer Institute 

Kerry J. Savage, MD
BC Cancer (Vancouver) 

Christian Steidl, MD 
BC Cancer (Vancouver) 

Recognizing the unmet need of AYA’s with lymphoma, the Lymphoma Research Foundation, with the ongoing support of Founding Sponsor the Paul Foundation, began an initiative to engage and support the AYA research community, patients, and their families. In 2015, LRF convened an AYA Symposium with clinicians and basic scientists from pediatric and adult disciplines to examine the state of the science for AYA lymphoma, precisely review the gaps in research for this population, and discuss the unique challenges and treatment/disease burdens for the AYA lymphoma population.  Subsequently, the second AYA Consortium Scientific Workshop took place in June 2022 in Jersey City, NJ. The 2022 Scientific Workshop focused on research and clinical developments in the areas highlighted by the 2019 AYA Scientific Workshop blueprint. In a special edition of eJHaem entitled “Lymphoma in adolescents and young adults: navigating a path forward together,” a multitude of experts from the 2022 AYA Lymphoma Workshop review the current status, discuss significant new developments in the field, and provide recommendations for scientific prioritization. 

About the LRF AYA Lymphoma Consortium, Initiative, and Scientific Workshops