Media Advisory

Monday March 22, 2004


(LONDON, Ontario) - Adolescents and young adults with cancer often fall between the cracks of the health care system, according to one of the leading North American authorities on childhood cancer. As a result, that age group's survival rate is much lower than that of younger children or older adults.

"Cancer during adolescence and early adulthood has been relatively neglected and merits enhanced research programs and coordination of resources," says Dr. Archie Bleyer, director of the MD Anderson Cancer Centre Community Oncology Program in Texas. Dr. Bleyer adds, "Awareness, education, and collaboration are paramount. To address the survival deficit will require broad support to increase clinical trial participation among 15-29 year-olds."

Dr. Bleyer, who pioneered the Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program of the Children's Cancer Group, Children's Oncology Group, and National Cancer Institute, will address this issue while in London speaking to a group of pediatric and adult oncologists, nurses and staff at the Children's Hospital of Western Ontario (CHWO). His lecture is part of a series sponsored by the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO) to mark their 20th anniversary.

The media is invited to attend the following lectures:

Date: Wednesday March 24, 2004 - The Lack of Participation of Young Adults with Cancer in Clinical Trials
Time: 12:00 p.m.

London Health Sciences Centre
Victoria Campus,
800 Commissioners Road East
Westminster Tower
7th Floor Amphitheatre


Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - The Importance of Research in Childhood Cancer

Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Best Western Lamplighter Inn
Chelsea Ballroom
591 Wellington Road South
(This lecture is open to the public)

POGO - Celebrating 20 years of caring, innovation and leadership in childhood cancer care
The Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO) was founded in 1983 to provide a voice for children's cancer control in Ontario. POGO is working with Ontario's Ministry of Health and Long-term Care and hospitals across the province, to ensure that all of Ontario's children have equal access to state-of-the-art care. POGO's work is focused on enhancing the provincial system of care, providing professional and public education, conducting and facilitating research, and driving data development.

Section of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Children's Hospital of Western Ontario (CHWO)

The pediatric oncology program at CHWO currently cares for over 500 children with cancer and survivors of childhood cancer. It is a member of the Children's OncologyGroup (COG), a consortium of 235 pediatric academic institutions in North America that utilize standard approaches to advance success rates in most types of childhood cancer with resulting survival rates of more than 80%. CHWO's pediatric oncology program is the principal referral centre for patients under the age of 18 in Southwestern Ontario.

The Children's Hospital of Western Ontario is located at the Victoria Campus of London Health Sciences Centre in London, Ontario.

For further information, please contact:

Debbie Neufert
Media Relations, Communications Consultant
London Health Sciences Centre
519-685-8500, ext. 74772