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Exercise Oncology: Preclinical Team

The Exercise Oncology Service’s preclinical team is a dedicated group of research technicians who conduct modeling studies in a controlled lab environment. Preclinical evidence is crucial to identifying potential links between exercise prescription and tumor outcomes, as well as other important biological factors. We use data gathered in such modeling studies to design randomized, controlled clinical trials.

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Preclinical Investigation into the Differential Response of Breast Cancer Subtypes to Aerobic Training

  • Experiment 1: Investigation of the effects of exercise on breast tumor progression as a function of subtype

    • In this study, we look at the antitumor effects of aerobic exercise training across 12 human mammary adenocarcinoma cell lines. We implant 16 mice per cell line, then randomize them into an exercise training group (n=8) and a sham control group (n=8). The exercise training group runs about 20 meters per minute on treadmills for 30 minutes, five days per week, and the control group sits on a stationary treadmill for 30 minutes, five days per week. We measure the tumors three times per week until they reach 1200mm3.

  • Experiment 2: Effects of exercise-induced changes in organismal physiology on stem and progenitor cell number and function

    • In this study, we look at the effects that exercise has on stem and progenitor cell numbers and functions. We divide 80 nontumor-bearing mice into wheel-running (n=32) and sedentary (n=48) groups, singly housed. At one, three, and six months, we harvest tissues from mice to study the differences.

  • Experiment 3: Exercise regulation of tumor clonal evolution

    • We study the antitumor effects of aerobic exercise training on the murine mammary carcinoma 4T1 and murine colon carcinoma CT26. We implant 24 mice per cell line, then randomize them into exercise training and sham control groups. The exercise group runs about 20 meters per minute for 60 minutes twice daily, five days per week. The control group is placed on a stationary treadmill for 60 minutes twice daily, five days per week. These mice are treated until the tumors reach 1200mm3.

Funding: AKTIV Against Cancer


Effects of Aerobic Training on Breast Cancer Recurrence in a Model of Bone Metastasis Dormancy

In this study, we look at the effects that aerobic exercise training has on the delay of breast cancer bone metastasis progression. We use an established metastatic variant of the human breast cancer cell lines MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7, since they mimic the dormancy reactivation of cancer bone metastasis when injected into the intra-illiac artery. We divide the mice into exercise training and sedentary groups. The exercise group runs about 20 meters per minute for 30 minutes, five to seven days per week. The sedentary group is placed on a stationary treadmill for 30 minutes, five to seven days per week. The micro- and macro-metastasis are measured by bioluminescence twice per week. At the end of the study, we harvest the femurs and tibias to study the effect of aerobic exercise.

Funding: AKTIV Against Cancer