Background: The objective of the current study was to describe a multidisciplinary transition program for following young adult survivors of childhood cancer in an adult-based ambulatory medical setting and to report the late effects with grades of toxicity diagnosed in all adult survivors followed in the program.
Methods: The study population was comprised of all young adult survivors (n = 96) of childhood cancer who were seen in the After the Cancer Experience (ACE) Young Adult Program prior to January 31, 1999. The median age of the survivors was 22.8 years (range, 17-34 years) and the median interval from the time of cancer diagnosis was 15.2 years (range, 6-25 years). Primary cancer groups included: leukemia, 33%; sarcoma, 24%; Hodgkin disease, 15%; non-Hodgkin lymphoma, 12%; Wilms' tumor, 9%; and other, 7%. Late effects were graded using the Common Toxicity Criteria, Version 2 (CTCv2), developed by the National Cancer Institute.
Results: Approximately 69% of the patients (66 of 96) had at least 1 late effect. Thirty-three percent of patients had a single late effect whereas 36% had >/= 2 late effects. Thirty percent of patients had a CTCv2 Grade 3 or 4 late effect.
Conclusions: The current study represents an example of a successful multidisciplinary transition program in an ambulatory, adult setting for young adult survivors of childhood cancer. Late effects of cancer treatment are common in young adult survivors, with approximately 33% being moderate to severe. Further studies are needed to modify CTCv2 with the aim of developing a reliable and valid tool to assess late effects in long term survivors of childhood cancer.
Copyright 2000 American Cancer Society.