Research at TYAC

We recognise the need for a well-defined research agenda that bridges the gap between the children’s and adult oncology research worlds. TYAC is taking the lead on building a new focus on research that is dedicated to the very specific needs of teenage and young adult cancer treatment and care which will help change the future of teenage and young adult (TYA) cancer care and improve outcomes for young people with cancer.

There are currently no major national funders who solely fund TYA cancer research, and no Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) members with a unique TYA focus. Proposals are either submitted to predominantly children’s or adult research funders.

The James Lind Alliance TYA Cancer Priority Setting Partnership (TYA PSP) employed a rigorous process to identify the top ten research priorities for teenagers and young adults with cancer, their carers and the healthcare professionals treating them. The TYA PSP also identified that many of the top ten priorities are outside the scope of existing remits for research funders. A fresh focus is needed to help bridge the gap between children’s and adult cancer research to address the priorities identified for TYA research. New collaborations and partnerships across different disciplines such as education, as well as clinical and health roles, can stimulate novel ways of working in research. 

We are in a unique position in the arena of TYA cancer charities, as we are also the multidisciplinary professional body for those involved in the treatment and care of young people with cancer. As part of the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group, we also have considerable expertise in the funding of research projects and are a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities.

Our medical and scientific expertise, alongside the recent TYA PSP, puts us in a strong position to prioritise areas of unmet need and offer funding for specific research projects.

Young adult in conversation with researcher

What do we fund?

We are funding research that will reduce the individual and societal burden for teenagers and young adults with cancer.

We aim to fund world-class research across the TYA cancer timeline including prevention, diagnosis, treatment and consequences, short- and long-term effects. Interventions should aim to improve the physical, psychological, social and economic wellbeing for TYA and their carers/significant others. All aspects of research will be considered; however, priority will be given to questions identified in the recent James Lind Alliance Top 10 Research Priorities for TYA:

  1. What psychological support package improves psychological well-being, social functioning and mental health during and after treatment?
  2. What interventions, including self-care, can reduce or reverse adverse short and long-term effects of cancer treatment?
  3. What are the best strategies to improve access to clinical trials?
  4. What GP or young person strategies, such as awareness campaigns and education, improve early diagnosis for young people with suspected cancer?
  5. What are the best ways of supporting a young person who has incurable cancer?
  6. What are the most effective strategies to ensure that young people who are treated outside of a young person’s Principal Treatment Centre receive appropriate practical and emotional support?
  7. What interventions are most effective in supporting young people when returning to education or work?
  8. How can parents/carers/siblings/partners be best supported following the death of a young person with cancer?
  9. What is the best method of follow-up and timing which causes the least psychological and physical harm, while ensuring relapse/complications are detected early?
  10. What targeted treatments are effective and have fewer short and long-term side-effects?


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