Cancer & Blood Disorders Institute

Adolescent & Young Adult Oncology Program

The expanding Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Oncology Program will address the unique medical and psychosocial aspects of teenagers and young adults dealing with cancer.

Growing from childhood into adulthood presents many challenges, socially, physically and emotionally. A cancer diagnosis of someone in this age group can compound those challenges in ways unique to adolescents and young adults (AYA).

Cancer patients in the AYA age group often are caught between two worlds—pediatric and adult care—and the care they receive can make a big difference. The cancers that affect this group often are those more associated with the pediatric population and frequently respond better to the therapies developed for younger patients. The Johns Hopkins All Children’s Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Program primarily focuses on young people between ages 15 and 22 and addresses the unique medical and psychosocial aspects of teenagers and young adults dealing with cancer. The goal of the AYA program is to help teens and young adults understand and adjust to the impact of cancer on their developing bodies and lives.

With years of experience and scholarship, Peter Shaw, M.D., deputy director of the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Cancer & Blood Disorders Institute, brings innovation and experience to the AYA Oncology Program.

Services We Offer

  • Expertise specific to each type of cancer

  • Access to clinical studies through the Children’s Oncology Group and other organizations

  • Fertility Preservation

  • Inpatient and outpatient academic support with dedicated teachers

  • Coping skills through the assessment and support of a psychologist, social workers, care coordinators and a nutritionist

  • Social support through activities and events

  • Doctor/patient consultations on a case-by-case basis

Addressing Concerns

Fertility Preservation

Fertility concerns are a key issue after a cancer diagnosis for the AYA age group. The AYA team will discuss this issue with each patient and family, so they can make informed decisions along the course of treatment.

Academic and Psychosocial Support

The AYA program also helps patients and families with academic and psychosocial support. The hospital has a team of teachers to help inpatients and outpatients keep up with their schoolwork, and the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Institute for Brain Protection Sciences recently added a psychologist who will be dedicated to working with cancer patients. This psychologist will assess patients and families, help them develop coping skills and counsel them during what can be a difficult stage of life even without confronting cancer.


Our team is happy to take questions from patients and families of adolescents and young adults dealing with cancer.


Refer a Patient

If you are a physician or a medical specialist with a patient who might benefit from the Johns Hopkins All Children’s AYA Oncology Program, we’d love to talk to you.


Read inspirational stories about our AYA Oncology Program:

Helping Teens and Young Adults Deal with Cancer

A Cancer & Blood Disorders Institute program provides adolescents and young adults the special support they need.

Read More