Current Research Studies


  • Aerobic exercise and CogniTIVe functioning in women with breAsT cancEr: the ACTIVATE trial

The aim of the ACTIVATE trial is to evaluate the impact of a supervised aerobic exercise intervention on chemotherapy-related cognitive changes (CRCC) in women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. Chemotherapy-related cognitive changes (CRCC) are reported by up to 75% of breast  cancer survivors during treatment and symptoms persist in 35% of survivors after treatment. Aerobic exercise is associated with improved quality of life in breast cancer survivors and holds promise as an intervention to prevent or mitigate CRCC.

We will soon be recruiting women with breast cancer who are receiving adjuvant chemotherapy to participate in the ACTIVATE study. The exercise intervention includes 3x weekly supervised aerobic exercise training for 12-16 weeks. All exercise programs are individually-tailored and supervised by staff who have experience working with cancer patients. For more information please contact Aaliya Merali at 604-827-1914 or email:


British Columbia is in a unique position to be a leader in addressing the knowledge translation gap between exercise programming in cancer care and clinical practice. Currently, cancer care services are primarily delivered by the distributed sites of the BC Cancer Agency, which all reside in one health authority. This allows for a coordinated approach to knowledge translation that has provincial reach. Furthermore, BC is the only province to have a provincial tele-health system called HealthLink BC, which includes access to Qualified Exercise Professionals (QEP).

The SUCCESS BC project is partnering with the BC Cancer Agency to develop a model of service delivery that addresses key barriers to translation of a strong body of research into practice, by: 1) providing access to evidence-informed and vetted exercise information and guidance through QEP at HealthLink BC to extend the supportive care services available at BC Cancer Agency sites; and 2) a referral process for the healthcare professionals (HCP) of BC Cancer Agency to connect their patients to these services from a recognized, trusted source.

  • True NTH

The True NTH lifestyle management initiative is a trial undertaken by Movember and Prostate Cancer Canada, designed as a community exercise feasibility study for prostate survivors. The 12-week program provides, twice weekly group supervised exercise sessions at community centers around Vancouver, and online access to educational materials for participants.

The program is run across Canada with Vancouver currently hosting 2 community centers at Creekside (Olympic Village) and Marpole (59th Ave) on either Monday/Wednesday’s or Tuesday/Thursdays.

If you are a prostate cancer survivor and are interested in participating in a 12-week exercise program, please click here.

  • Understanding the unique challenges of being a young woman with breast cancer: a qualitative study for developing a lifestyle intervention program.

In Canada, the average age at diagnosis of early stage breast cancer is between 50-69 years. However, approximately 18% of breast cancer diagnoses are in women 45 years or younger. Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death and disability in Canadian women under 45 years of age.

Younger women with breast cancer face unique challenges in adoption of exercise and weight management practices when compared to those in older women, including financial concerns, competing daily demands (i.e., employment, relationships, young families), physical body changes, and social isolation.

Therefore, the development of interventions specifically tailored to younger women is warranted. The current study aims to form a focus group to gather more information about the challenges younger women with breast cancer face, and to gain a better understanding of what types of interventions are most effective in improving their quality of life through a lifestyle intervention.

This study is currently not recruiting participants.

If you would like more information, please click here.

  • Colon Health and Life-Long Exercise Change (CHALLENGE) Trial

The CO.21 Colon Health and Life-Long Exercise Change (CHALLENGE) trial undertaken by the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group (NCIC CTG) is designed to determine the effects of a structured physical activity intervention on outcomes for survivors of high-risk stage II or III colon cancer who have completed adjuvant therapy within the previous 2–6 months.  The trial is a multi-site trial across Canada and Australia.

The Trial is running at the BCCA-Vancouver site.  If you are being treated there for colon cancer and are interested in the trial, please talk to your oncologist.

For more information about the study, please click here.