MSK's Update on Improving Care for Young People With Cancer

Lisa DeAngelis (left) and Andrew Kung (right)

Lisa DeAngelis, Physician-in-Chief, Chief Medical Officer, and Scott M. and Lisa G. Stuart Chair (left) and Andrew Kung, Chair, Department of Pediatrics, and Lila Acheson Wallace Chair.

Dear MSK Community,

Getting diagnosed with cancer at any age is a blow, but it’s particularly hard for someone who had just gotten started in life, only to be forced to put their dreams on hold.

Unfortunately, it’s happening more often. Although overall cancer cases are declining, they are on the rise in adolescents and young adults ages 15 to 39. A staggering 90,000 new cases are projected this year alone in the United States. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is already at the forefront in this field, treating about 5,500 of these younger patients each year.

This issue of MSK News is devoted to our groundbreaking efforts to improve the care of young people with cancer. These patients have not benefited as much from recent advances as those who are younger or older than they are. We must understand why and do better. This is the mission of the new Lisa and Scott Stuart Center for Adolescent and Young Adult Cancers. Thanks to the visionary generosity of the Stuart family, this comprehensive clinical and research center, under the leadership of William Tap and Julia Glade Bender, will transform the experience, care, and outcomes for this often-underserved group.

MSK is uniquely positioned to make a difference because we treat and research cancers in both adults and children. Our program will be one of the first to run digital clinical trials for adolescents and young adults. We will define critical transition points in care — something that’s never been done before in a systematic and rigorous way — to track our young patients’ experiences over time.

Most importantly, our revolutionary approach will create a plan that goes beyond medical treatment to care for the whole person, offering counseling, nutrition, exercise, and family planning through the use of apps, social media, telemedicine, and more.

We are committed not only to saving more lives but also to helping those lives be full of joy and promise. In this special issue, you will learn how young people can have a future that is not defined by cancer.


Lisa DeAngelis
Physician-in-Chief, Chief Medical Officer, and Scott M. and Lisa G. Stuart Chair

Andrew Kung
Chair, Department of Pediatrics, and Lila Acheson Wallace Chair

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MSK News Fall 2021
Cancer is on the rise in adolescents and young adults. Through a groundbreaking new center, MSK is helping patients like Desiree Allen, diagnosed at 31. Read more about it in the fall issue of MSK News.