Complete Research Studies

  • The Effects of Exercise Before Doxorubicin Chemotherapy on Cardiac Function

In rodents, a single bout of exercise prior to injection of a chemotherapy agent used to treat breast cancer prevents or attenuates a number of markers of cardiac injury. This study will investigate whether this finding translates to human breast cancer patients. Participants scheduled to receive chemotherapy for breast cancer will be randomized to exercise or no exercise 24 hours prior to every chemotherapy treatment. The effect on cardiac function will be compared between groups noninvasively by echocardiography and electrocardiography and a venous blood draw at baseline before chemotherapy, after the first treatment and at the end of chemotherapy.

If you are interested in participating and would like more information, please click here.


  • Does Exercise Training Prevent Anthracycline-Induced Deterioration Of Cardiac Mechanics In Breast Cancer Patients?

Women diagnosed with breast cancer may be at a heightened risk for cardiovascular diseases, due in part to the effects of cancer treatment on the heart. Numerous studies of rodents suggest that exercise training can prevent or decrease the extent of cardiac injury caused by a particular type of chemotherapy treatment used to treat breast cancer.  However, this has not yet been confirmed in studies of human cancer survivors. This study will use cardiac ultrasound to compare the changes in subtle indicators of heart function during chemotherapy treatment between a group of breast cancer patients who perform exercise training and a group of women who do not.

If you are interested in participating and would like more information, please click here.


  • Prospective Surveillance of Arm Morbidity in Breast Cancer Rehabilitation

Up to 60% of women report at least 1 persistent arm issue following breast cancer treatment that adversely affects activities of daily living and quality of life. If recognized early and treated by physiotherapy promptly, there is a dramatic reduction in the incidence and severity of arm impairment. Unfortunately physiotherapy is currently not routinely provided as part of clinical care for breast cancer survivors. Our research team has engaged in an ongoing series of knowledge translations steps to address the overarching clinical question of how to
reduce arm impairment in women receiving surgery for breast cancer. Using the Knowledge to Action Process as proposed by Graham et al. we started with a clinical problem identified by local clinicians. 

This study is running at the Rapid Access Breast Clinic at Mt. St. Joseph’s Hospital, in Vancouver, BC.

Recruitment for this study has ended, but may re-open in the future. Stay tuned!


  • Nutrition and Exercise during adjuvant Treatment (NEXT) Study Implementation of a physician-referred exercise and healthy eating intervention as supportive care in breast cancer survivors

Past research by this research group and others has shown that there are benefits in reducing the side effects of cancer treatment and improving quality of life and physical fitness in women diagnosed with breast cancer who participate in supervised exercise during chemotherapy. However physical activity is currently not commonly part of supportive care in the management of breast cancer at BCCA and there are limited programs available in the community. Cancer survivors have also been identified to have unique barriers to participating in physical activity. The aim of the study is to offer a supervised exercise program and healthy eating information to women with newly diagnosed breast cancer (being treated with chemotherapy) over a 1-year period, to examine the health effects in a real life setting.

We will also examine the feasibility of delivering the intervention (an exercise and nutritional program) measuring the number of women who enroll, the number of women who stay in the program and their satisfaction with participating. Finally, a goal of the study is to collect blood samples that will be analyzed for markers that may be associated with cancer recurrence to see if the intervention may have promise in having long-term benefits in lowering the risk of cancer progression. The blood sample collection is an optional part of the study and you will receive a separate consent form for the blood collection. Few studies have gathered long-term data on health behaviours of women with breast cancer after completing an exercise and healthy eating program. Therefore this study will include measures of health behaviours and optional body measurements (body weight, waist and hip measures) at one year after the program is completed.

Recruitment for the current study has now been CLOSED!

For more information about the study, please click here.


  • Pilot Study of Cognitive Function in Individuals Treated with Adjuvant FOLFOX Chemotherapy for Colon Cancer

The main goal of the study is to determine if subjects with colon cancer who are receiving 5FU/Oxaliplatin based chemotherapy are affected by cognitive dysfunction. It is unknown whether 5FU/Oxaliplatin causes cognitive dysfunction.  At the present time, cognitive dysfunction caused by chemotherapy has been largely explored in breast cancer patients. This type of study involves only a small number of subjects and therefore the results can only used as a guide for further larger studies. There is no guarantee that a larger study will be done and is not expected that the participants will benefit from taking part in this feasibility or pilot study, although the knowledge gained may help to develop future studies that may benefit others.

If you are interested in participating and would like more information, please click here.