Numerous studies have documented that adolescents and young adults (AYAs) experience a significant cancer burden as well as significant cancer mortality compared with other age groups. The reasons for the disparate outcomes of AYAs and other age groups are not completely understood and are likely to be multifactorial, including a range of sociodemographic issues unique to these individuals as well as differences between adolescents, younger pediatric patients, and adults in the pharmacology of anticancer agents. Because adolescence is a period of transition from childhood to early adulthood, numerous physical, physiologic, cognitive, and behavioral changes occur during this time. In this review, we provide an overview of the unique developmental physiology of the adolescent and explain how these factors and the behavioral characteristics of adolescents may affect the pharmacology of anticancer agents in this patient population. Finally, we describe examples of studies that have assessed the relation between drug disposition and age, focusing on the AYA age group.

© 2010 by American Society of Clinical Oncology

COMPANION ARTICLES

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ARTICLE CITATION

DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2010.28.3473 Journal of Clinical Oncology 28, no. 32 (November 10, 2010) 4790-4799.

Published online May 03, 2010.

PMID: 20439647

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