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Exercise and Cancer Survivorship

Project title: SupPoRtive Exercise Programmes for Accelerating REcovery after major ABdominal Cancer surgery (PREPARE-ABC) 

Funder: National Institute of Health Research – Health Technology Assessment 

DSER staff: Prof John Saxton, Jenni Naisby 

Collaborators: Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, University of East Anglia 

Surgery is one of the main treatments used for bowel (colorectal) cancer. Having an operation to remove part of the bowel is physically demanding - in a similar way to how runners have to train to help their bodies cope with the demands of races. Doctors think that taking part in an exercise programme might help to train your body to cope with the demands of an operation. 

A multicentre, three arm, parallel randomised controlled trial of standard care alone versus standard care plus supervised hospital-based exercise and standard care plus supported home-based exercise pre- and post-hospital discharge in cancer patients awaiting curative colorectal cancer surgery. 

In one arm of the trial, participants will take part in an exercise programme before surgery and for about a year after their operation. This might take place in hospital, or at home. In the other arm of the trial, participants will have routine care and do not take part in an exercise programme. 

The trial team will compare the different groups and collect information about factors such as: length of hospital stay; problems after surgery; motivation and levels of physical activity; and physical and psychological wellbeing. 

The trial will help shed light on whether exercise training can improve recovery after surgery; whether exercise before surgery can improve fitness; and whether an exercise programme at home or in hospital is better than usual care. 


Project title: North of England Women’s Diet and ActivitY After Breast Cancer Trial (Acronym: NEW-DAYABC) 

Funder: Yorkshire Cancer Research 

DSER staff: Professor John Saxton, Dr Sarah Wane 

Collaborators: Dr Caroline Wilson (Consultant Medical Oncologist, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) 

The aim of this research is to co-design and test the effectiveness of a lifestyle intervention for reducing and maintaining weight loss in overweight women recovering from hormone-dependent breast cancer treatment. The initial phases of the research are to be conducted in Newcastle and Sheffield. 


Find out more 

Bourke L, Gilbert S, Hooper R, Steed LA, Joshi M, Catto JW, Saxton JM, Rosario DJ (2014). Lifestyle changes for improving disease-specific quality of life in sedentary men on long-term androgen-deprivation therapy for advanced prostate cancer: a randomised controlled trial. European Urology, 65, 865-872. 

Saxton JM, Scott EJ, Daley AJ, Woodroofe MN, Mutrie N, Crank H, Powers HJ, Coleman RE (2014). Effects of an exercise and hypocaloric healthy eating intervention on indices of psychological health status, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis regulation and immune function after early-stage breast cancer: a randomized controlled trial. Breast Cancer Research 16 (2), R39. 

Gilbert SE, Tew GA, Fairhurst C, Bourke L, Saxton JM, Winter EM, Rosario DJ (2016). Effects of a lifestyle intervention on endothelial function in men on long-term androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer. British Journal of Cancer, 114, 401-408. 


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