Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Program Objectives

AYA Cancer Program Patient Experience

Connecticut Children’s has beautifully renovated spaces in our outpatient clinic and inpatient unit for AYAs to use during treatment. We understand that AYAs need a space of their own to take a break, gather with friends or join others for a game or movie night.

Our Collaboration with Local Adult Hospitals

In addition to providing care at Connecticut Children’s, The Reid R. Sacco Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Program collaborates with oncology specialists at the University of Connecticut Health Center, Hartford Hospital and St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center to provide consultation, medical care and support services for patients up to age 40 with diseases more often found in younger patients

Each patient’s physician participates in the coordination of care and in medical decision-making discussions with patients and their families. When appropriate, patients who are eligible are given an opportunity to enroll in a clinical trial.

Research and Scholarly Advancements

Thanks to the support of the Reid R. Sacco Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Alliance, Dr. Michael Isakoff continues to make advances in AYA cancer research and publishes his work to benefit patients and their clinical care providers.

The AYA Cancer Program was established through the generosity of the Reid R. Sacco Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Alliance.

The origin of the Alliance began when, just a few weeks before graduating high school 2003, Reid Sacco was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer seen predominantly in adolescents and young adults (AYAs). In seeking resources with which to fight his cancer, Reid and his family found an alarming gap in oncology care for the AYA age group (15-39). There were few experts, limited novel therapies, and no eligible clinical trials. In April 2005, after a courageous two-year battle, Reid lost his life at age 20. In July 2005, Reid’s family established the Reid R Sacco AYA Cancer Alliance to start a movement to find better treatments, and someday a cure, for the cancers striking AYAs. The Alliance supports research and clinical programs aimed at providing expertise in treating and conquering AYA cancers. In 2007 the family co-founded the launch of an AYA Program at Connecticut Children’s, directed by Michael Isakoff, MD. The Reid R. Sacco Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program at Connecticut Children’s continues to provide exceptional and potentially life-saving access to clinical trials for AYA cancer patients.