In this blog we’ll give you updates about what we’ve shared over the last few months – from a guest podcast on Menopause and Cancer to our first CanRehab Webinar (attended by over 500 people), it has been a busy time at CanRehab HQ.
Can exercise reduce our risks of cancer recurrence? And if so, by how much? Do we have clear evidence showing so or are these assumptions? And how the heck do I even make a start if my whole body is hurting, my joints are so stiff and I feel so fatigued?
You can listen to the podcast episode for free through the links below –
Dani said “I feel this is a really exciting episode, as it shows that there is so much we can do every single day to not just help us feel better, but also improve our chances of survival and long-term health.“
Thank you for having us to talk about such an important topic, Dani!
October saw CanRehab launch our new webinar series, kicking off with a discussion between Professor Kristin Campbell and Professor Anna Campbell. Kristin is a licensed physical therapist and a Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. She also an Affiliated Scientist in the Cancer Control Program at the BC Cancer Research Institute, so we were really pleased to have her on to talk with Professor Campbell.
The webinar focussed on “Tailoring exercise intensity and volume during chemotherapy for breast cancer – what we know and what we don’t!“, and we were thrilled to have so many people join us, and hear the positive feedback after the event.
“This was so valuable. Thank you so much for all of the efforts and expertise shared through this webinar!“
“Really useful, many thanks. I look forward to more.”
If you would like to access the webinar, you can do so for free up until the end of this year, by registering here:
We will be hosting more webinars in the future. Stay up to date with our social media and blogs to hear more on this soon.
Utrecht – Horizon Project | Multi-national European Research Project
In early November, Professor Campbell attended the first Horizon Grant PREFERABLE meeting in Utrecht. Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation with a budget of €95.5 billion. The programme facilitates collaboration and strengthens the impact of research and innovation in developing, supporting and implementing EU policies while tackling global challenges.
As part of the Horizon Europe grant, Anne May, a Professor in Clinical Epidemiology of cancer survivorship at UMC Utrecht, and her colleagues have received a €6 million grant to develop and evaluate a personalised and live-remote exercise program for cancer patients. With this new intervention, they aim to resolve current problems in the implementation of exercise programs. More detailed information on this can be found below:
New personalised and live-remote exercise program
The PREFERABLE-II consortium, as the project is dubbed, aims to tackle these hurdles. PREFERABLE-II stands for: Personalised Exercise-Oncology for improvement of supportive care: a super umbrella trial to demonstrate the (cost)effectiveness of live-remote exercise in cancer survivors.
With colleagues from the Netherlands Cancer Institute and from renowned research institutes in Germany, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, and Australia, Anne May will develop a novel exercise intervention that is live-remote and personalised to the wishes and needs of the patient. The European Cancer Patient Coalition will provide patient input in the scientific studies and for dissemination of the results. Julius Clinical Research BV will be monitoring the trial.
Personalised exercise program based on the survivor’s side effects
Existing exercise interventions are designed in a one-size fits all fashion and leave only limited room for personalisation. “We’re going to design an exercise program that improves overall quality of life and one out of four major long-term side effects: fatigue, low physical fitness, neuropathy or psychological symptoms”, Anne explains. “Hence, we can personalise the program to the survivor’s main side effect. All participants will receive a base exercise module (2 weeks) supplemented with a specific module (1 week). For example, people suffering from neuropathy will receive more balancing exercises, while for those enduring chronic fatigue a yoga session will be added.”
Live-remote training program
Another more practical problem with existing exercise interventions is that they are most effective when offered on-site at a training facility, under the supervision of an exercise specialist. Unsupervised home-based programs are less effective, most likely because the required training intensities are not reached. The need to travel to a training facility creates hurdles for patients and survivors that lower participation, like time constraints due to job or care tasks, too much travel time or travel dependencies.
Anne said “this is why our exercise intervention will be implemented at the homes of patients and survivors. It works with live-remote supervision from a national broadcast centre ensuring direct supervision via video connection of specialised exercise trainers and appropriate training intensities. For this we have built on recent experiences and insights gleaned during the COVID-19 pandemic and supported by tele-communication systems.”
Available to all cancer survivors
Most research thus far is aimed on a specific group of cancer patients, mainly patients with breast cancer. “Our exercise intervention can and will be made available to all cancer survivors”, says Anne. As such, our project contributes to improving the quality of life of those affected by cancer, by lowering the burden of side effects, while also improving availability, access, and awareness off exercise-based supportive care interventions.”
In addition to evaluating the intervention, PREFERABLE-II will also work on standards for patient-centred communication including shared decision-making regarding exercise, and on practical, professional, and legal recommendations for offering live-remote exercise for patients with cancer in Europe.