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Bottom Line: Adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) were significantly more likely to relapse than pediatric ALL patients, and factors including lower clinical trial enrollment and shorter duration of therapy were associated with relapse.

Journal in Which the Study was Published: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Author: Julie A. Wolfson, MD, MSHS, assistant professor and member of the Institute for Cancer Outcomes and Survivorship at the School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Background: While pediatric cancer patients have experienced dramatic improvement in survival rates, AYA patients have not seen equal improvement, Wolfson explained.

To address this disparity, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) created a special designation for the AYA population and has supported research investigating why these patients often have worse cancer outcomes.

“Patients diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 39 simply have not seen the same improvement as those in other age groups. In this study, we examined factors related to health care delivery and treatment to increase our understanding of why they experience poorer outcomes,” Wolfson said.

How the Study Was Conducted: The researchers assembled a retrospective cohort of ALL

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