Interview with Professor Andy Davies, Southampton ECMC
Interview with Professor Andy Davies, Professor of Haematological Oncology at Southampton & Clinical Lead for TYA in Wessex
Could you tell us about your background and how you first got involved in working in the Teenagers & Young Adults (TYA) field?
I became the Clinical Lead for TYA in Wessex in 2012 as our service began to take shape and form a full TYA team, at the same time we were fortunate enough to deliver a purpose built facility for young people with cancer that was so clearly needed.
Why did you get involved in the ECMC TYA project and what’s been your experience so far?
I am passionate about delivery of high-quality care for teenagers and young adults. This includes access to clinical trials which so often this group of patients falls through the gaps. With my two hats on ECMC Lead in Southampton and TYA Lead I hope I was the right fit.
From your perspective, why is it important to improve access to clinical trials and biobanking for TYA patients?
We need to improve outcomes and patient experience for TYA patients. The pattern of cancers in the TYA population is distinct. We see a low frequency of the classical paediatric cancers, an increasing frequency of the solid malignancies of adulthood and cancers that have their own predisposition for young adults such as Hodgkin lymphoma, sarcomas and germ cell tumours. We need to learn more about these events. Carefully conducted clinical trials with translational correlates and collection of material is key to unlocking this.
What impact do you hope this work will have for TYA patients and for the wider work of the ECMC network?
Increased visibility of the population, greater access to trials and more choice
If you wanted people to have one take home message about this work what would it be?
Get involved so that we can improve care.