Upscaling AYA Cancer Care Towards Establishing Minimum Standards of Care for Adolescents and Young Adults (AYA) across Europe

Virtual Roundtable Summary: Advancing AYA Cancer Care Standards in Europe

Date: December 11th, 2023

Time: 15:00 – 17:00


The virtual roundtable on December 11th, 2023, brought together leading experts and stakeholders under the theme “Upscaling AYA Cancer Care: Towards Establishing Minimum Standards of Care for Adolescents and Young Adults (AYA) Across Europe.” The focus was on addressing the burden of disease in the 15-39 age group and advocating for improved standards of care.

Key Highlights

  • Burden of Disease: The discussion commenced with a sobering acknowledgment of the global impact of cancer on the AYA population. In 2019 alone, 1.19 million incident cancer cases and 396,000 deaths were reported among individuals aged 15-39 worldwide. Notably, disparities in incidence and mortality rates were observed based on Socio-Demographic Index (SDI) levels.

Distinguished Panelists

The roundtable featured esteemed panellists representing diverse fields and institutions, including:

  1. Ulrike Leiss – Medical University of Vienna
  2. Johan De Munter – University Hospital Ghent Cancer Centre
  3. Carina Schneider – CCI Europe, CEO
  4. Andrea Ferrari – Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale Tumori of Milan
  5. Tim Van Hoorenbeke, Sonia Silva, Erik Sturesson, Elena Arsenie-Constantinescu, Ana Totovina, Nicola Unterecker, and Oriana De Sousa – Youth Cancer Europe

Special Contributor

  • Dr Jan-Willem Van-de-Loo – Special Contributor, DG Research and Innovation, European Commission


  • Daniel Stark – University of Leeds
  • Katie Rizvi – Chair, Youth Cancer Europe

Key Takeaways

  1. Unified Funding Approach: Advocacy for unified funding strategies for both paediatric and adult oncology units.
  2. Collaborative Care: Promoting collaborative efforts between paediatric and adult oncology units for comprehensive AYA care.
  3. Structured Staff Recruitment: Advocating for structured funding to recruit qualified staff dedicated to AYA care.
  4. EU Support: Utilizing European partnership and EU funding for transforming health and care systems.
  5. Harmonized Age Range: Stakeholders unanimously emphasized the need to harmonize the AYA age range across Europe, challenging the current 15-39 age bracket.
  6. Legislative Advocacy: Encouraging legislative changes at various levels to ensure life-saving therapies for AYA patients.
  7. Patient Involvement: Advocating for increased AYA patient involvement in decision-making processes and clinical trials.
  8. Knowledge Exchange: Promoting knowledge exchange and benchmarking studies among European centers.
  9. Transparency and Research: Emphasizing the importance of transparent treatment options, synergy with adult treatments, and fostering research development.


The virtual roundtable concluded with a call to action, urging collective efforts for legislative changes, increased funding, and collaborative initiatives to enhance AYA cancer care across Europe. The outlined takeaways provide a comprehensive roadmap for advancing the standards of care, underscoring the commitment of stakeholders to prioritize the well-being of AYA individuals facing cancer.