Evaluation/characterization of the chronic and late cardiovascular effects of cancer therapy and efficacy of cardiovascular-based strategies to prevent and/or reverse dysfunction. We have several projects in this domain:
Exercise training is a safe and efficacious intervention for breast cancer patients following the completion of primary therapy (such as chemotherapy and radiation). In contrast, the role of exercise during primary breast cancer therapy is less well accepted. Indeed, a perception exists that conducting scientifically rigorous exercise trials may not be possible during therapy due to poor adherence and attrition rates, elevated risk of adverse events, and significant patient selection bias. Nevertheless, a growing number of studies indicate that exercise is an effective therapy to mitigate certain cancer-related toxicities (for example, deconditioning and fatigue) with adherence and attrition rates well within conventionally accepted levels and with minimal adverse events. Although the acceptance of exercise during therapy has made significant strides over the past decade, the prevailing dogma is still that exercise should be avoided during primary therapy.
Accordingly, we are conducting a four-arm randomized controlled trial to compare the effects and safety of supervised aerobic training performed during, after, or both during and after standard primary therapy, relative to attention-control, in 160 (n=40/group) early-stage breast cancer patients.