One explanation for the relative lack of progress in treating cancer in adolescents and young adults is that the biology of malignant diseases in this age group is different than in younger and older persons, not only in the spectrum of cancers but also within individual cancer types and within the patient (host). Molecular, epidemiological and therapeutic outcome comparisons offer clues to this distinctiveness in most of the common cancers of adolescents and young adults. Translational and clinical research should not assume that the biology of cancers and patients is the same as in other age groups, and treatment strategies should be tailored to the differences.
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