CIHR grants $2.5 million to probe impact of physical activity on breast cancer
April 09, 2016
Besides the major studies, Courneya says, there are opportunities for sub-group analysis, with a large research cohort. "These analyses might include looking at the link between fitness and disease outcomes based on disease stage, or we could look at some of the molecular markers in the cancer cells such as estrogen receptor positive or estrogen receptor negative cancer, for example.
"We may find that fitness is a strong predictor but only for people who have estrogen receptor positive breast cancer. In the sub-groups we can examine if it's the same across all patients or if there are certain medical and demographic factors that make exercise a strong link for some groups and potentially no link for other groups, like estrogen-receptor negative breast cancer. Maybe we'll find that exercise doesn't reduce the risk of recurrence with that type of cancer," says Courneya.
"We can look at and determine what role exercise is playing depending on other medical co-morbidities or depending on your fitness level at the time of diagnosis and those types of things. Then you can give more targeted recommendation about what the best bang for the buck might be in terms of an exercise prescription."
Courneya says the true value of the team grant is the legacy of research projects it will spawn.
"The real goal of our CIHR team grant is to build this cohort so we have a beautiful resource, a living laboratory, 1500 women with all the gold standard assessments of exercise and health-related fitness tracked over many years and followed for all these disease outcomes.
"And once you establish that, there are an endless number of questions future students and academics could potentially look at."
Source: University of Alberta - Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation