Comprehensive assessments and related interventions to enhance the long-term outcomes of child, adolescent and young adult cancer survivors – presentation of the CARE for CAYA-Program study protocol and associated literature review

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Salchow, J.
Mann, J.
Koch, B.
von Grundherr, J.
Jensen, W.
Elmers, S.
Straub, L. A.
Vettorazzi, E.
Escherich, G.
Rutkowski, S.


Improved, multimodal treatment strategies have been shown to increase cure rates in cancer patients. Those who survive cancer as a child, adolescent or young adult (CAYA), are at a higher risk for therapy-, or disease-related, late or long-term effects. The CARE for CAYA-Program has been developed to comprehensively assess any potential future problems, to offer need-based preventative interventions and thus to improve long-term outcomes in this particularly vulnerable population.


The trial is designed as an adaptive trial with an annual comprehensive assessment followed by needs stratified, modular interventions, currently including physical activity, nutrition and psycho-oncology, all aimed at improving the lifestyle and/or the psychosocial situation of the patients. Patients, aged 15–39 years old, with a prior cancer diagnosis, who have completed tumour therapy and are in follow-up care, and who are tumour free, will be included. At baseline (and subsequently on an annual basis) the current medical and psychosocial situation and lifestyle of the participants will be assessed using a survey compiled of various validated questionnaires (e.g. EORTC QLQ C30, NCCN distress thermometer, PHQ-4, BSA, nutrition protocol) and objective parameters (e.g. BMI, WHR, co-morbidities like hyperlipidaemia, hypertension, diabetes), followed by basic care (psychological and lifestyle consultation). Depending on their needs, CAYAs will be allocated to preventative interventions in the above-mentioned modules over a 12-month period. After 1 year, the assessment will be repeated, and further interventions may be applied as needed. During the initial trial phase, the efficacy of this approach will be compared to standard care (waiting list with intervention in the following year) in a randomized study. During this phase, 530 CAYAs will be included and 320 eligible CAYAs who are willing to participate in the interventions will be randomly allocated to an intervention. Overall, 1500 CAYAs will be included and assessed. The programme is financed by the innovation fund of the German Federal Joint Committee and will be conducted at 14 German sites. Recruitment began in January 2018.


CAYAs are at high risk for long-term sequelae. Providing structured interventions to improve lifestyle and psychological situation may counteract against these risk factors. The programme serves to establish uniform regular comprehensive assessments and need-based interventions to improve long-term outcome in CAYA survivors.

Trial registration

Registered at the German Clinical Trial Register (ID: DRKS00012504, registration date: 19th January 2018).

Journal Title
BMC Cancer
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