Relationship Between Exercise, Breast Cancer Recurrence to Be Studied by New Penn Med Center

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Media Contact:Greg Richter | | 215-614-1937August 18, 2011

PHILADELPHIA — A $10 million grant from the National Cancer Institute will fund a new center at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania focusing on the relationship between exercise, weight loss, and improving the length and quality of life for the nation's 12 million cancer survivors.

Projects in the Penn Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (TREC) Survivor Center will include:

  • A pre-clinical study examining whether exercise and/or weight loss prevents breast cancer recurrence in mice, headed by Lewis Chodosh, MD, PhD, chair of the department of Cancer Biology
  • A trial recruiting 555 overweight breast cancer survivors with the treatment-related arm-swelling condition known as lymphedema for an exercise and weight loss study led by Kathryn Schmitz, PhD, MPH, associate professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • A cost-effectiveness analysis of Penn's weight training intervention for breast cancer survivors with lymphedema, in hopes of translating its published results from research to standard of care, led by Sandy Schwartz, PhD, Leon Hess Professor of Medicine, Health Management & Economics

"The Penn TREC Survivor Center will bring together obesity and cancer researchers in a brand new way, through three large scientific projects, as well as education and outreach efforts," says Schmitz. "We are creating a sustainable research and education program with a mission to improve the quality and length of cancer survivorship." Though the new center's research will begin with breast cancer survivors, as they are the largest group of cancer survivors, investigators will expand their research into the links between exercise and survivorship among other types of cancer survivors.

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