Cancer Survivorship

Promoting Physical Activity after Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the U.S. and, if detected early, has a favorable prognosis. Colorectal cancer survivors face many physical and psychosocial sequelae including second cancers, adverse effects on major organs, cognitive, and sexual function, problems in work and social roles, and reduced quality of life. This study focuses on enhancing recovery by offering a home-based physical activity program to patients who have completed treatment for colorectal cancer. This study will test the efficacy of the physical activity intervention using a randomized controlled design among 134 patients who have completed treatment for colorectal cancer in the past 2 years. Outcomes will include physical activity behavior, fitness, vigor, fatigue, physical functioning, and body esteem among participants at baseline, 3 (posttreatment),6 and 12 months. We will also track intervention costs and conduct exploratory analyses of moderators and mediators of change to help guide the future development of physical activity interventions to enhance recovery from colorectal cancer.

Principal Investigator:Bernardine Pinto, PhD

Co-Investigators: Michael Goldstein, MD; George Papandonatos, PhD; Bess Marcus, PhD; Charles Neighbors, PhD; William Sikov, MD

Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute

Dates: 2004 - 2010

Community Volunteers Promoting Physical Activity among Cancer Survivors

To determine the effects of Reach to Recovery (RTR) volunteers at American Cancer Society (ACS) offices providing brief physical activity (PA) counseling via telephone (RTR Plus) over 12 weeks to 120 women who contact collaborating ACS offices (3 offices) for RTR services.

Principal Investigator:Bernardine Pinto, PhD

Co-Investigators: Michael Goldstein, MD; George Papandonatos, PhD, Kevin Stein, PhD, Susan Richter, Debborah Smith, MBA

Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute

Dates: 2009 - 2012

Web Based Physical Activity Intervention for Young Adult Cancer Survivors

Those diagnosed with cancer between the ages of 18 and 39 face a number of increased risks including an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, second cancers, and emotional distress. Despite their increased risks, very little research has targeted young adult cancer survivors and there is evidence that they have many unmet psychosocial and behavioral health needs. The goal of this study is to address some of these unmet needs by developing and pilot testing a physical activity intervention for young adult cancer survivors. The intervention is based on a previously developed, theoretically-grounded, tailored Internet intervention for sedentary adults. Two key enhancements have been added to the intervention website in order to target young adult cancer survivors: 1) information pertinent to cancer survivors initiating an exercise program and 2) a peer-to-peer support component. Ten young adult cancer survivors evaluated the targeted intervention website and provided qualitative feedback. Their feedback was used to make additional revisions and the revised intervention is now being pilot tested. Participants recruited for the pilot test are randomly assigned to an intervention group (receiving 12 weeks of access to the intervention website) or a comparison group (receiving information on other cancer-specific Internet sites). Data on intervention feasibility and acceptability is being collected along with preliminary data on intervention effects (i.e., on physical activity level, mood, and fatigue).

Principal Investigator:Carolyn Rabin, PhD

Co-Investigators: Bess Marcus, PhD, Fred Schiffman, MD

Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute

Dates: 2008 - 2010

Exercise and Relaxation Intervention for Young Adult Cancer Survivors

There is evidence that cancer diagnosis and treatment during young adulthood puts survivors at risk for a number of medical and psychosocial difficulties including cardiovascular disease, second cancers and psychological distress. This study is aimed at developing a physical activity and relaxation intervention for young adult cancer survivors in order to address some of these risks. The objective of the study is to pilot test a 12-week theoretically grounded physical activity and relaxation intervention for young adult cancer survivors. Sixty participants will be recruited for the study and randomly assigned to receive a 12-week physical activity and relaxation intervention or to a wait list control group. The intervention is designed to help young adult cancer survivors begin a program of moderate-intensity activity and learn mindfulness meditation. We hypothesize that the intervention will be feasible for and acceptable to young adult cancer survivors. We also hypothesize that the intervention group will demonstrate increased levels of physical activity, improved mood and reduced fatigue relative to the wait list control group at a follow-up assessment. In addition, we will conduct exploratory tests of intervention effects on fitness, flexibility, body mass, and waist circumference.

Principal Investigator:Carolyn Rabin, PhD

Co-Investigators: Bernardine Pinto, PhD, Fred Schiffman, MD, Don Dizon, MD, Joseph Fava, PhD

Funding Agency: American Cancer Society

Dates: 2009 - 2013

Transdisciplinary Cancer Control Research Training Grant (R25 CA87972)

The Specific Aims of the R25T are to contribute to the training of the next generation of transdisciplinary researchers in cancer prevention and control - persons who can be both PI team-leaders and also co-investigator collaborators. The objective is to provide early career, transdisciplinary training for the three years following completion of an initial single-discipline, postdoctoral traineeship. Thus, upon completion of our R25T, trainees will be between 4 to 6 years postgraduate and ideally positioned to respond to current transdisciplinary NIH Roadmap initiatives, to obtain funding in areas considered "extraordinary" opportunities by NCI, and to address newly identified cancer control issues that emerge as the 21st century proceeds. The R25T training program is based on the individual strengths of, and the synergy of cooperation among, three major programs at Brown: (a) The Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine; (b) The Center for Gerontology and Healthcare Research; and (c) The Brown University Oncology Group. In addition, the growing Program in Public Health at Brown is a significant resource for MPH coursework providing trainees with a population-level perspective on cancer control. The R25T training program delivers a curriculum in transdisciplinary research for cancer prevention and control that provides a balance of in-common shared training and individualized research training. The individualized training plan includes: 1) supervised participation in the ongoing work of established research teams, one led by a primary mentor and the other by at least one other second mentor from another discipline; 2) participation in Brown's MPH program either with selected coursework or matriculation for the full degree; 3) participation in innovative didactics, including an interactive transdisciplinary seminar and a seminar on transdisciplinary approaches to lung cancer; and 4) formal instruction in grant writing leading to the development and submission of an R01 or equivalent grant in transdisciplinary cancer prevention and control. The R25T training fills a unique need at Brown by building on existing T32 predoctoral and postdoctoral training programs, by bridging the gap between disciplines, and providing an additional three years of mentored early career support.

Principal Investigator: William Rakowski, PhD

Co-Investigator and Co-Director: Justin Nash, PhD

Co-Investigator: Carolyn Rabin, PhD

Funding Agency: National Cancer Institute

Dates: 2006 - 2011