The influence of physical activity in cancer prevention and control.
Ph.D., University of Toronto
Leader, Population Health Research,
Division of Population Health,
Alberta Cancer Board
Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Health Sciences,
Faculty of Kinesiology
Population Health, Alberta Cancer Board and Community Health Sciences
Phone: (403) 521-1841
Fax: (403) 270-8003
Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute
Area of Research:
Our research is seeking to understand how physical activity can reduce the risk of cancer, what the underlying biologic mechanisms are for these associations and how exercise after cancer diagnosis can be used to improve coping, rehabilitation, quality of life and disease-free survival.
With my co-investigators, I am researching the influence of physical activity on cancer control across the spectrum of the cancer experience from prevention to survival after diagnosis. We have several case-control, cohort and randomized trials on physical activity and cancer that are currently on-going. Our current observational research studies include a case-control study that is examining the etiologic role of lifetime physical activity in endometrial cancer as well as the role of the Metabolic Syndrome in endometrial cancer etiology; a cohort study of the role of pre- and post-diagnosis physical activity in prostate cancer survival; and another cohort study of the role of pre- and post-diagnosis physical activity in endometrial cancer survival.
Besides these observational studies, I have been involved in several randomized controlled exercise trials. We are currently analysing data and publishing our results from our Alberta Physical Activity and Breast Cancer Prevention Trial (ALPHA Trial) in which we are examining the effect of aerobic exercise on several intermediate endpoints for breast cancer risk including body composition, endogenous hormone and growth factor levels, obesity and inflammatory markers, physical fitness and mammographic density. We are currently planning a sequel to the ALPHA Trial that has been submitted for external funding. I am also involved in several randomized controlled trials of exercise for the rehabilitation, coping and improved quality of life for cancer patients. With my colleagues across Canada and Australia, we are starting a new randomized controlled trial of 1000 colon cancer survivors that will involve a three year-long exercise intervention to determine if disease-free survival can be improved. This trial is coordinated by the National Cancer Institute of Canada-Clinical Trials Group and is the first exercise trial ever conducted in Canada in colon cancer patients that will have survival as the outcome.
I continue to collaborate with colleagues on the European Prospective Investigation on Cancer and Nutrition by examining the role of physical activity and anthropometry in cancer risk in this cohort of 522,000 Europeans from 10 different countries. I am also working on developing improved methods for assessing recent and lifetime physical activity patterns in different types of questionnaires.