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For teen and young adult cancer survivors, life after treatment can be a time of significant transition, including new schedules, stressors, freedoms, and risks of developing delayed side effects from treatment. Though finishing treatment is a milestone to celebrate, it can also be a time of fear, uncertainty, and anxiety. Young people who complete treatment may also be navigating issues around work, school, housing, finances, body image, sexual health and relationships, friendships, and more.
Compared to children and older adults who survive cancer, teens and young adults aged 15-39 years at diagnosis are at higher risk for developing multiple health problems over their lifetimes. There is an increased prevalence of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, diabetes, cardiomyopathy, stroke, premature ovarian failure, chronic liver disease, and renal failure. They are also at high risk for developing subsequent cancers, which can lead to lower survival compared to other age groups.
Doctors need better methods to identify health risks in their young patients. They also need more effective survivorship care plans to help people as they move through life after cancer. The goal of the EAQ211 study is to better understand how the world that young survivors live in affects the outcomes of their cancer treatment. Examples of adverse outcomes could be more suffering, reduced quality of life, and early death.
Through a series of blood tests and patient questionnaires, researchers will study how social and environmental conditions, such as exposures to trauma and other adverse life experiences, alter the activity of genes and immune cells. They will study how such alterations may cause inflammation and weaken the immune system's ability to fight off germs and viruses. Previous trials discovered that these cellular and molecular alterations, found in the blood, can signal that a patient is at risk of developing health problems.
EAQ211 is enrolling 2,000 survivors of Hodgkin or Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, aged 15-39 years when first diagnosed, who have completed treatment and are disease-free. Participants will provide a blood sample and complete a health status survey at the start of the study. Then, they will complete the survey and give a blood sample every 6 months for 2 years (five total).
The short survey, which can be completed online, asks questions about participants' physical and mental health, environment, and quality of life. There is 24/7 access to a life crisis hotline to ensure support for participants' emotional health and well-being. Hotline number: 800-273-8255. Online chat: https://988lifeline.org/chat/.
EAQ211 is led by Bradley J. Zebrack, PhD of the University of Michigan.
Learn more about EAQ211 at ecog-acrin.org.