A Yale-developed exercise program designed to reduce bone loss and prevent weight gain in women with cancer is being funded with a $2.2 million grant from the National Cancer Institute.
The principal investigator, M. Tish Knobf, the American Cancer Society Professor at Yale University School of Nursing and a member of Yale Cancer Center, said there are more than 10 million cancer survivors in the United States, and 22 percent are women diagnosed with breast cancer.
"Cancer survivors face persistent physical symptoms as well as psychological distress when treatment ends," Knobf said. "For long-term survivors, there are additional concerns related to late effects of cancer therapy, such as bone loss."
She and her team conducted a pilot study to look at the effects of exercise and found that 88 percent of the women adhered to the program, maintained their weight, had no changes in bone mass, and improved psychologically.
"Weight gain, changes in body composition, decreased physical functioning, bone loss, and menopause in women treated for cancer may increase risks for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis," Knobf said. "With an estimated 64 percent of cancer survivors now living longer than five years, interventions are needed to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence, secondary cancers, and health risks for other chronic illnesses."
Co-investigators Lyndsay Harris, M.D., and Karl Insogna, M.D., will provide additional expertise to help monitor the women enrolled in the study. Harris, associate professor of medical oncology and director of the Yale Cancer Center Breast Cancer Program, studies the molecular classifications of breast cancer, particularly in minority women. Insogna, director of the Yale Bone Center and professor internal medicine, has clinical expertise on the disease-related causes of bone loss.
Source: Yale University