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1.  Physical Activity during Cancer Treatment (PACT) Study: design of a randomised clinical trial 
BMC Cancer  2010;10:272.
Background
Fatigue is a major problem of cancer patients. Thirty percent of cancer survivors report serious fatigue three years after finishing treatment. There is evidence that physical exercise during cancer treatment reduces fatigue. This may also lead to an improvement of quality of life. Such findings may result in a decrease of healthcare related expenditures and societal costs due to sick leave. However, no studies are known that investigated these hypotheses. Therefore, the primary aim of our study is to assess the effect of exercise during cancer treatment on reducing complaints of fatigue and on reducing health service utilisation and sick leave.
Methods/Design
The Physical Activity during Cancer Treatment study is a multicentre randomised controlled trial in 150 breast and 150 colon cancer patients undergoing cancer treatment. Participants will be randomised to an exercise or a control group. In addition to the usual care, the exercise group will participate in an 18-week supervised group exercise programme. The control group will be asked to maintain their habitual physical activity pattern. Study endpoints will be assessed after 18 weeks (short term) and after 9 months (long term). Validated questionnaires will be used. Primary outcome: fatigue (Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory and Fatigue Quality List) and cost-effectiveness, health service utilisation and sick leave. Secondary outcome: health related quality of life (European Organisation Research and Treatment of Cancer-Quality of Life questionnaire-C30, Short Form 36 healthy survey), impact on functioning and autonomy (Impact on functioning and autonomy questionnaire), anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), physical fitness (aerobic peak capacity, muscle strength), body composition and cognitive-behavioural aspects. To register health service utilisation and sick leave, participants will keep diaries including the EuroQuol-5D. Physical activity level will be measured using the Short Questionnaire to Assess Health-Enhancing Physical Activity and will be monitored with an exercise log and a pedometer.
Discussion
This study investigates the (cost)-effectiveness of exercise during adjuvant treatment of patients with breast or colon cancer. If early physical exercise proves to be (cost) effective, establishing standardised physical exercise programmes during cancer treatment will be planned.
Trial registration
Current Controlled trials ISRCTN43801571, Dutch Trial Register NTR2138
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-272
PMCID: PMC2927992  PMID: 20534147
2.  Effect of a multimodal high intensity exercise intervention in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy: randomised controlled trial 
Objective To assess the effect of a multimodal group exercise intervention, as an adjunct to conventional care, on fatigue, physical capacity, general wellbeing, physical activity, and quality of life in patients with cancer who were undergoing adjuvant chemotherapy or treatment for advanced disease.
Design Randomised controlled trial.
Setting Two university hospitals in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Participants 269 patients with cancer; 73 men, 196 women, mean age 47 years (range 20-65) representing 21 diagnoses. Main exclusion criteria were brain or bone metastases. 235 patients completed follow-up.
Intervention Supervised exercise comprising high intensity cardiovascular and resistance training, relaxation and body awareness training, massage, nine hours weekly for six weeks in addition to conventional care, compared with conventional care.
Main outcome measures European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30), Medical Outcomes Study Short Form (MOS SF-36), Leisure Time Physical Activity Questionnaire, muscular strength (one repetition maximum), maximum oxygen consumption (Vo2max).
Statistical methods The general linear model was used for continuous outcome while analysis of associates between categorical outcomes was performed as analysis of marginal homogeneity in contingency tables.
Results Adjusted for baseline score, disease, and demographic covariates, the intervention group showed an estimated improvement at six weeks for the primary outcome, fatigue, of −6.6 points (95% confidence interval −12.3 to −0.9, P=0.02; effect size=0.33, 0.04 to 0.61). Significant effects were seen on vitality (effect size 0.55, 95% CI 0.27 to 0.82), physical functioning (0.37, 0.09 to 0.65), role physical (0.37, 0.10 to 0.64), role emotional (0.32, 0.05 to 0.59), and mental health (0.28, 0.02 to 0.56) scores. Improvement was noted in physical capacity: estimated mean difference between groups for maximum oxygen consumption was 0.16 l/min (95% CI 0.1 to 0.2, P<0.0001) and for muscular strength (leg press) was 29.7 kg (23.4 to 34.9, P<0.0001). No significant effect was seen on global health status/quality of life.
Conclusion A supervised multimodal exercise intervention including high and low intensity components was feasible and could safely be used in patients with various cancers who were receiving adjuvant chemotherapy or treatment for advanced disease. The intervention reduced fatigue and improved vitality, aerobic capacity, muscular strength, and physical and functional activity, and emotional wellbeing, but not quality of life.
Trial registration Current Controlled trials ISRCTN05322922.
doi:10.1136/bmj.b3410
PMCID: PMC2762035  PMID: 19826172
3.  Telehealth system (e-CUIDATE) to improve quality of life in breast cancer survivors: rationale and study protocol for a randomized clinical trial 
Trials  2013;14:187.
Background
Breast cancer survivors suffer physical impairment after oncology treatment. This impairment reduces quality of life (QoL) and increase the prevalence of handicaps associated to unhealthy lifestyle (for example, decreased aerobic capacity and strength, weight gain, and fatigue). Recent work has shown that exercise adapted to individual characteristics of patients is related to improved overall and disease-free survival. Nowadays, technological support using telerehabilitation systems is a promising strategy with great advantage of a quick and efficient contact with the health professional. It is not known the role of telerehabilitation through therapeutic exercise as a support tool to implement an active lifestyle which has been shown as an effective resource to improve fitness and reduce musculoskeletal disorders of these women.
Methods / Design
This study will use a two-arm, assessor blinded, parallel randomized controlled trial design. People will be eligible if: their diagnosis is of stages I, II, or IIIA breast cancer; they are without chronic disease or orthopedic issues that would interfere with ability to participate in a physical activity program; they had access to the Internet and basic knowledge of computer use or living with a relative who has this knowledge; they had completed adjuvant therapy except for hormone therapy and not have a history of cancer recurrence; and they have an interest in improving lifestyle. Participants will be randomized into e-CUIDATE or usual care groups. E-CUIDATE give participants access to a range of contents: planning exercise arranged in series with breathing exercises, mobility, strength, and stretching. All of these exercises will be assigned to women in the telerehabilitation group according to perceived needs. The control group will be asked to maintain their usual routine. Study endpoints will be assessed after 8 weeks (immediate effects) and after 6 months. The primary outcome will be QoL measured by The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 version 3.0 and breast module called The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Breast Cancer-Specific Quality of Life questionnaire. The secondary outcomes: pain (algometry, Visual Analogue Scale, Brief Pain Inventory short form); body composition; physical measurement (abdominal test, handgrip strength, back muscle strength, and multiple sit-to-stand test); cardiorespiratory fitness (International Fitness Scale, 6-minute walk test, International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form); fatigue (Piper Fatigue Scale and Borg Fatigue Scale); anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale); cognitive function (Trail Making Test and Auditory Consonant Trigram); accelerometry; lymphedema; and anthropometric perimeters.
Discussion
This study investigates the feasibility and effectiveness of a telerehabilitation system during adjuvant treatment of patients with breast cancer. If this treatment option is effective, telehealth systems could offer a choice of supportive care to cancer patients during the survivorship phase.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01801527
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-14-187
PMCID: PMC3704734  PMID: 23799886
Breast; Neoplasm; Telerehabilitation; Exercise
4.  Effects of exercise on breast cancer patients and survivors: a systematic review and meta-analysis 
Background
Physical exercise has been identified as a potential intervention to improve quality of life in women with breast cancer. We sought to summarize the available evidence concerning the effects of exercise on breast cancer patients and survivors.
Methods
We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsychINFO, CancerLit, PEDro and SportDiscus as well as conference proceedings, clinical practice guidelines and other unpublished literature resources. We included only randomized controlled trials that examined exercise interventions for breast cancer patients or survivors with quality of life, cardiorespiratory fitness or physical functioning as primary outcomes. We also extracted data on symptoms of fatigue, body composition and adverse effects.
Results
Of 136 studies identified, 14 met all the inclusion criteria. Despite significant heterogeneity and relatively small samples, the point estimates in terms of the benefits of exercise for all outcomes were positive even when statistical significance was not achieved. Exercise led to statistically significant improvements in quality of life as assessed by the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy–General (weighted mean difference [WMD] 4.58, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.35 to 8.80) and Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy–Breast (WMD 6.62, 95% CI 1.21 to 12.03). Exercise also led to significant improvements in physical functioning and peak oxygen consumption and in reducing symptoms of fatigue.
Interpretation
Exercise is an effective intervention to improve quality of life, cardiorespiratory fitness, physical functioning and fatigue in breast cancer patients and survivors. Larger trials that have a greater focus on study quality and adverse effects and that examine the long-term benefits of exercise are needed for this patient group.
doi:10.1503/cmaj.051073
PMCID: PMC1482759  PMID: 16818906
5.  Cost-Effectiveness of Interventions to Promote Physical Activity: A Modelling Study 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(7):e1000110.
Linda Cobiac and colleagues model the costs and health outcomes associated with interventions to improve physical activity in the population, and identify specific interventions that are likely to be cost-saving.
Background
Physical inactivity is a key risk factor for chronic disease, but a growing number of people are not achieving the recommended levels of physical activity necessary for good health. Australians are no exception; despite Australia's image as a sporting nation, with success at the elite level, the majority of Australians do not get enough physical activity. There are many options for intervention, from individually tailored advice, such as counselling from a general practitioner, to population-wide approaches, such as mass media campaigns, but the most cost-effective mix of interventions is unknown. In this study we evaluate the cost-effectiveness of interventions to promote physical activity.
Methods and Findings
From evidence of intervention efficacy in the physical activity literature and evaluation of the health sector costs of intervention and disease treatment, we model the cost impacts and health outcomes of six physical activity interventions, over the lifetime of the Australian population. We then determine cost-effectiveness of each intervention against current practice for physical activity intervention in Australia and derive the optimal pathway for implementation. Based on current evidence of intervention effectiveness, the intervention programs that encourage use of pedometers (Dominant) and mass media-based community campaigns (Dominant) are the most cost-effective strategies to implement and are very likely to be cost-saving. The internet-based intervention program (AUS$3,000/DALY), the GP physical activity prescription program (AUS$12,000/DALY), and the program to encourage more active transport (AUS$20,000/DALY), although less likely to be cost-saving, have a high probability of being under a AUS$50,000 per DALY threshold. GP referral to an exercise physiologist (AUS$79,000/DALY) is the least cost-effective option if high time and travel costs for patients in screening and consulting an exercise physiologist are considered.
Conclusions
Intervention to promote physical activity is recommended as a public health measure. Despite substantial variability in the quantity and quality of evidence on intervention effectiveness, and uncertainty about the long-term sustainability of behavioural changes, it is highly likely that as a package, all six interventions could lead to substantial improvement in population health at a cost saving to the health sector.
Please see later in the article for Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
The human body needs regular physical activity throughout life to stay healthy. Physical activity—any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that uses energy—helps to maintain a healthy body weight and to prevent or delay heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, and breast cancer. In addition, physically active people feel better and live longer than physically inactive people. For an adult, 30 minutes of moderate physical activity—walking briskly, gardening, swimming, or cycling—at least five times a week is sufficient to promote and maintain health. But at least 60% of the world's population does not do even this modest amount of physical activity. The daily lives of people in both developed and developing countries are becoming increasingly sedentary. People are sitting at desks all day instead of doing manual labor; they are driving to work in cars instead of walking or cycling; and they are participating less in physical activities during their leisure time.
Why Was This Study Done?
In many countries, the chronic diseases that are associated with physical inactivity are now a major public-health problem; globally, physical inactivity causes 1.9 million deaths per year. Clearly, something has to be done about this situation. Luckily, there is no shortage of interventions designed to promote physical activity, ranging from individual counseling from general practitioners to mass-media campaigns. But which intervention or package of interventions will produce the optimal population health benefits relative to cost? Although some studies have examined the cost-effectiveness of individual interventions, different settings for analysis and use of different methods and assumptions make it difficult to compare results and identify which intervention approaches should be give priority by policy makers. Furthermore, little is known about the cost-effectiveness of packages of interventions. In this study, the researchers investigate the cost-effectiveness in Australia (where physical inactivity contributes to 10% of deaths) of a package of interventions designed to promote physical activity in adults using a standardized approach (ACE-Prevention) to the assessment of the cost-effectiveness of health-care interventions.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers selected six interventions for their study: general practitioner “prescription” of physical activity; general practitioner referral to an exercise physiologist; a mass-media campaign to promote physical activity; the TravelSmart car use reduction program; a campaign to encourage the use of pedometers to increase physical activity; and an internet-based program. Using published data on the effects of physical activity on the amount of illness and death caused by breast and colon cancer, heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes and on the effectiveness of each intervention, the researchers calculated the health outcomes of each intervention in disability-adjusted life years (DALY; a year of healthy life lost because of premature death or disability) averted over the lifetime of the Australian population. They also calculated the costs associated with each intervention offset by the costs associated with the five conditions listed above. These analyses showed that the pedometer program and the mass-media campaign were likely to be the most cost-effective interventions. These interventions were also most likely to be cost-saving. Referral to an exercise physiologist was the least cost-effective intervention. The other three interventions, though unlikely to be cost-saving, were likely to be cost-effective. Finally, a package of all six interventions would be cost-effective and would avert 61,000 DALYs, a third of what could be achieved if every Australian did 30 minutes of physical activity five times a week.
What Do These Findings Mean?
As in all modeling studies, these findings depend on the quality of the data and on the assumptions included by the researchers in their calculations. Unfortunately, there was substantial variability in the quantity and quality of evidence on the effectiveness of each intervention and uncertainty about the long-term effects of each intervention. Nevertheless, the findings presented in this study suggest that the assessment of the cost-effectiveness of a combination of interventions designed to promote physical activity might provide policy makers with some guidance about the best way to reduce the burden of disease caused by physical inactivity. More specifically, for Australia, these findings suggest that the package of the six interventions considered here is likely to provide a cost-effective way to substantially improve the health of the nation.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000110.
The World Health Organization provides information about physical activity and health (in several languages); it also provides an explanation of DALYs
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on physical activity for different age groups and for health professionals
The UK National Health Service information source Choices also explains the benefits of regular physical activity
MedlinePlus has links to other resources about exercise and physical fitness (in English and Spanish)
The University of Queensland Web site has more information on ACE-Prevention (Assessing Cost-Effectiveness Prevention)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000110
PMCID: PMC2700960  PMID: 19597537
6.  Randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effects of progressive resistance training compared to progressive muscle relaxation in breast cancer patients undergoing adjuvant radiotherapy: the BEST study 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:162.
Background
Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is one of the most common and distressing side effects of cancer and its treatment. During and after radiotherapy breast cancer patients often suffer from CRF which frequently impairs quality of life (QoL). Despite the high prevalence of CRF in breast cancer patients and the severe impact on the physical and emotional well-being, effective treatment methods are scarce.
Physical activity for breast cancer patients has been reported to decrease fatigue, to improve emotional well-being and to increase physical strength. The pathophysiological and molecular mechanisms of CRF and the molecular-biologic changes induced by exercise, however, are poorly understood.
In the BEST trial we aim to assess the effects of resistance training on fatigue, QoL and physical fitness as well as on molecular, immunological and inflammatory changes in breast cancer patients during adjuvant radiotherapy.
Methods/design
The BEST study is a prospective randomized, controlled intervention trial investigating the effects of a 12-week supervised progressive resistance training compared to a 12-week supervised muscle relaxation training in 160 patients with breast cancer undergoing adjuvant radiotherapy. To determine the effect of exercise itself beyond potential psychosocial group effects, patients in the control group perform a group-based progressive muscle relaxation training. Main inclusion criterion is histologically confirmed breast cancer stage I-III after lumpectomy or mastectomy with indication for adjuvant radiotherapy. Main exclusion criteria are acute infectious diseases, severe neurological, musculosceletal or cardiorespiratory disorders. The primary endpoint is cancer-related fatigue; secondary endpoints include immunological and inflammatory parameters analyzed in peripheral blood, saliva and urine. In addition, QoL, depression, physical performance and cognitive capacity will be assessed.
Discussion
The BEST study is the first randomized controlled trial comparing progressive resistance training with muscle relaxation training in breast cancer patients during adjuvant radiotherapy. Based on the analysis of physiological, immunological and inflammatory parameters it will contribute to a better understanding of the physiological and psychosocial effects and the biological mechanisms of resistance training. The ultimate goal is the implementation of optimized intervention programs to reduce fatigue, improve quality of life and potentially the prognosis after breast cancer.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01468766
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-13-162
PMCID: PMC3617011  PMID: 23537231
7.  The efficacy of physiotherapy upon shoulder function following axillary dissection in breast cancer, a randomized controlled study 
BMC Cancer  2007;7:166.
Background
Many patients suffer from severe shoulder complaints after breast cancer surgery and axillary lymph node dissection. Physiotherapy has been clinically observed to improve treatment of these patients. However, it is not a standard treatment regime. The purpose of this study is to investigate the efficacy of physiotherapy treatment of shoulder function, pain and quality of life in patients who have undergone breast cancer surgery and axillary lymph node dissection.
Methods
Thirty patients following breast cancer surgery and axillary lymph node dissection were included in a randomised controlled study. Assessments were made at baseline and after three and six months. The treatment group received standardised physiotherapy treatment of advice and exercises for the arm and shoulder for three months; the control group received a leaflet containing advice and exercises. If necessary soft tissue massage to the surgical scar was applied. Primary outcome variables were amount of pain in the shoulder/arm recorded on the Visual Analogue Scale, and shoulder mobility (flexion, abduction) measured using a digital inclinometer under standardized conditions.
Secondary outcome measures were shoulder disabilities during daily activities, edema, grip strength of both hands and quality of life. The researcher was blinded to treatment allocation.
Results
All thirty patients completed the trial. After three and six months the treatment group showed a significant improvement in shoulder mobility and had significantly less pain than the control group. Quality of life improved significantly, however, handgrip strength and arm volume did not alter significantly.
Conclusion
Physiotherapy reduces pain and improves shoulder function and quality of life following axillary dissection after breast cancer.
Trial registration
ISRCTN31186536
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-7-166
PMCID: PMC2031897  PMID: 17760981
8.  Health-related quality of life in breast cancer patients: A bibliographic review of the literature from 1974 to 2007 
Background
Quality of life in patients with breast cancer is an important outcome. This paper presents an extensive overview on the topic ranging from descriptive findings to clinical trials.
Methods
This was a bibliographic review of the literature covering all full publications that appeared in English language biomedical journals between 1974 and 2007. The search strategy included a combination of key words 'quality of life' and 'breast cancer' or 'breast carcinoma' in titles. A total of 971 citations were identified and after exclusion of duplicates, the abstracts of 606 citations were reviewed. Of these, meetings abstracts, editorials, brief commentaries, letters, errata and dissertation abstracts and papers that appeared online and were indexed ahead of publication were also excluded. The remaining 477 papers were examined. The major findings are summarized and presented under several headings: instruments used, validation studies, measurement issues, surgical treatment, systemic therapies, quality of life as predictor of survival, psychological distress, supportive care, symptoms and sexual functioning.
Results
Instruments-Several valid instruments were used to measure quality of life in breast cancer patients. The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Core Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30) and its breast cancer specific complementary measure (EORTC QLQ-BR23) and the Functional Assessment Chronic Illness Therapy General questionnaire (FACIT-G) and its breast cancer module (FACIT-B) were found to be the most common and well developed instruments to measure quality of life in breast cancer patients. Surgery-different surgical procedures led to relatively similar results in terms of quality of life assessments, although mastectomy patients compared to conserving surgery patients usually reported a lower body image and sexual functioning. Systemic therapies-almost all studies indicated that breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy might experience several side-effects and symptoms that negatively affect their quality of life. Adjuvant hormonal therapies also were found to have similar negative impact on quality of life, although in general they were associated with improved survival. Quality of life as predictor of survival-similar to known medical factors, quality of life data in metastatic breast cancer patients was found to be prognostic and predictive of survival time. Psychological distress-anxiety and depression were found to be common among breast cancer patients even years after the disease diagnosis and treatment. Psychological factors also were found to predict subsequent quality of life or even overall survival in breast cancer patients. Supportive care-clinical treatments to control emesis, or interventions such as counseling, providing social support and exercise could improve quality of life. Symptoms-Pain, fatigue, arm morbidity and postmenopausal symptoms were among the most common symptoms reported by breast cancer patients. As recommended, recognition and management of these symptoms is an important issue since such symptoms impair health-related quality of life. Sexual functioning-breast cancer patients especially younger patients suffer from poor sexual functioning that negatively affect quality of life.
Conclusion
There was quite an extensive body of the literature on quality of life in breast cancer patients. These papers have made a considerable contribution to improving breast cancer care, although their exact benefit was hard to define. However, quality of life data provided scientific evidence for clinical decision-making and conveyed helpful information concerning breast cancer patients' experiences during the course of the disease diagnosis, treatment, disease-free survival time, and recurrences; otherwise finding patient-centered solutions for evidence-based selection of optimal treatments, psychosocial interventions, patient-physician communications, allocation of resources, and indicating research priorities were impossible. It seems that more qualitative research is needed for a better understanding of the topic. In addition, issues related to the disease, its treatment side effects and symptoms, and sexual functioning should receive more attention when studying quality of life in breast cancer patients.
doi:10.1186/1756-9966-27-32
PMCID: PMC2543010  PMID: 18759983
9.  Move more for life: the protocol for a randomised efficacy trial of a tailored-print physical activity intervention for post-treatment breast cancer survivors 
BMC Cancer  2012;12:172.
Background
Due to early detection and advances in treatment, the number of women surviving breast cancer is increasing. Whilst there are many positive aspects of improved survival, breast cancer survival is associated with many long-term health and psychosocial sequelae. Engaging in regular physical activity post-diagnosis can reduce this burden. Despite this evidence, the majority of breast cancer survivors do not engage in regular physical activity. The challenge is to provide breast cancer survivors with appealing and effective physical activity support in a sustainable and cost-effective way. This article describes the protocol for the Move More for Life Study, which aims to assess the relative efficacy of two promising theory-based, print interventions designed to promote regular physical activity amongst breast cancer survivors.
Method and design
Breast cancer survivors were recruited from across Australia. Participants will be randomised into one of three groups: (1) A tailored-print intervention group, (2) a targeted-print intervention group, or (3) a standard recommendation control group. Participants in the tailored-print intervention group will receive 3 tailored newsletters in the mail over a three month period. Participants in the targeted-print group will receive a previously developed physical activity guidebook designed specifically for breast cancer survivors immediately after baseline. Participants in the standard recommendation control will receive a brochure detailing the physical activity guidelines for Australian adults. All participants will be assessed at baseline, and at 4 and 10 months post-baseline. Intervention efficacy for changing the primary outcomes (mins/wk aerobic physical activity; sessions/exercises per week resistance physical activity) and secondary outcomes (steps per day, health-related quality life, compliance with physical activity guidelines, fatigue) will be assessed. Mediation and moderation analyses will also be conducted.
Discussion
Given the growing number of cancer survivors, distance-based behaviour change programs addressing physical activity have the potential to make a significant public health impact.
Trial registration
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR) identifier: ACTRN12611001061921
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-172
PMCID: PMC3518246  PMID: 22569139
10.  At cancer diagnosis: a ‘window of opportunity’ for behavioural change towards physical activity. A randomised feasibility study in patients with colon and breast cancer 
BMJ Open  2013;3(11):e003556.
Introduction
Challenges exist in identifying, recruiting and motivating sedentary patients with cancer to initiate physical activity towards recommended levels. We hypothesise that the onset period of adjuvant chemotherapy can be ‘the open window of opportunity’ to identify and motivate sedentary patients with breast and colon cancers, at risk for developing coronary heart disease, to initiate and sustain lifestyle changes.
Aims
To investigate the feasibility of oncologists/nurses screening for physical inactivity, in order to identify and recruit an at-risk population of sedentary patients with breast or colon cancer at the onset of adjuvant chemotherapy. Furthermore, the study will examine the adherence to one of two multimodal exercise interventions lasting 12 weeks; (1) hospital-based, high intensity, group exercise intervention (2) home-based, low intensity, individual, pedometer intervention. Both arms will be compared with a control group.
Methods and analyses
All newly referred patients will be screened for sedentary behaviour, using national recommendations. Testing at baseline, 6, 12 and 39 weeks will include; (1) physiological testing (VO2-peak, one repetition maximum muscle strength and lung function (2) fasting full body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan (3) fasting blood glucose, insulin, lipids and cholesterols, (4) psychometric questionnaires (general well-being, quality of life, anxiety and depression, motivational readiness). The randomised controlled trial feasibility design is selected in order to examine barriers for recruitment, programme adherence, safety aspects and potential efficacy to the interventions during adjuvant chemotherapy.
Ethics and dissemination
The Scientific Committee of the Capital Region (case No. H-1-2011-131) and the Danish Data Protection Agency (j. No. 2011-41-6349) approved the study. Data will be entered and locked into a database hosted by the Copenhagen Trial Unit, Rigshosptialet. Data will be available for analyses to project members and the trial statistician after the 45 included patients have completed the 12-week test. Results will be published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN24901641.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003556
PMCID: PMC3822303  PMID: 24189081
ONCOLOGY; CHEMOTHERAPY; CLINICAL PHYSIOLOGY; SPORTS MEDICINE
11.  Receptor-Defined Subtypes of Breast Cancer in Indigenous Populations in Africa: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(9):e1001720.
In a systematic review and meta-analysis, Isabel dos Santos Silva and colleagues estimate the prevalence of receptor-defined subtypes of breast cancer in North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Breast cancer is the most common female cancer in Africa. Receptor-defined subtypes are a major determinant of treatment options and disease outcomes but there is considerable uncertainty regarding the frequency of poor prognosis estrogen receptor (ER) negative subtypes in Africa. We systematically reviewed publications reporting on the frequency of breast cancer receptor-defined subtypes in indigenous populations in Africa.
Methods and Findings
Medline, Embase, and Global Health were searched for studies published between 1st January 1980 and 15th April 2014. Reported proportions of ER positive (ER+), progesterone receptor positive (PR+), and human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 positive (HER2+) disease were extracted and 95% CI calculated. Random effects meta-analyses were used to pool estimates. Fifty-four studies from North Africa (n = 12,284 women with breast cancer) and 26 from sub-Saharan Africa (n = 4,737) were eligible. There was marked between-study heterogeneity in the ER+ estimates in both regions (I2>90%), with the majority reporting proportions between 0.40 and 0.80 in North Africa and between 0.20 and 0.70 in sub-Saharan Africa. Similarly, large between-study heterogeneity was observed for PR+ and HER2+ estimates (I2>80%, in all instances). Meta-regression analyses showed that the proportion of ER+ disease was 10% (4%–17%) lower for studies based on archived tumor blocks rather than prospectively collected specimens, and 9% (2%–17%) lower for those with ≥40% versus those with <40% grade 3 tumors. For prospectively collected samples, the pooled proportions for ER+ and triple negative tumors were 0.59 (0.56–0.62) and 0.21 (0.17–0.25), respectively, regardless of region. Limitations of the study include the lack of standardized procedures across the various studies; the low methodological quality of many studies in terms of the representativeness of their case series and the quality of the procedures for collection, fixation, and receptor testing; and the possibility that women with breast cancer may have contributed to more than one study.
Conclusions
The published data from the more appropriate prospectively measured specimens are consistent with the majority of breast cancers in Africa being ER+. As no single subtype dominates in the continent availability of receptor testing should be a priority, especially for young women with early stage disease where appropriate receptor-specific treatment modalities offer the greatest potential for reducing years of life lost.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Breast cancer is the commonest female tumor in Africa and death rates from the disease in some African countries are among the highest in the world. Breast cancer begins when cells in the breast acquire genetic changes that allow them to grow uncontrollably and to move around the body. When a breast lump is found (by mammography or manual examination), a few cells are collected from the lump (a biopsy) to look for abnormal cells and to test for the presence of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2) on the cells. The hormones estrogen and progesterone promote the growth of normal breast cells and of ER+ and PR+ breast cancer cells. HER2 also controls the growth of breast cells. The receptor status of breast cancer is a major determinant of treatment options and prognosis (likely outcome). ER+ tumors, for example, are more receptive to hormonal therapy and have a better prognosis than ER− tumors, whereas HER2+ tumors, which make large amounts of HER2, are more aggressive than HER2− tumors. Breast cancer is treated by surgically removing the lump or the whole breast (mastectomy) if the tumor has already spread, before killing any remaining cancer cells with chemotherapy or radiotherapy. In addition, ER+, PR+, and HER2+ tumors are treated with drugs that block these receptors (including tamoxifen and trastuzumab), thereby slowing breast cancer growth.
Why Was This Study Done?
ER+ tumors predominate in white women but the proportion of ER+ tumors among US-born black women is slightly lower. The frequency of different receptor-defined subtypes of breast cancer in indigenous populations in Africa is currently unclear but policy makers need this information to help them decide whether routine receptor status testing should be introduced across Africa. Because receptor status is a major determination of treatment options and outcomes, it would be more important to introduce receptor testing if all subtypes are present in breast cancers in indigenous African women and if no one subtype dominates than if most breast cancers in these women are ER+. In this systematic review (a study that uses pre-defined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic) and meta-analysis (a statistical approach that combines the results of several studies), the researchers examine the distribution of receptor-defined breast cancer subtypes in indigenous populations in Africa.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 54 relevant studies from North Africa involving 12,284 women with breast cancer (mainly living in Egypt or Tunisia) and 26 studies from sub-Saharan Africa involving 4,737 women with breast cancer (mainly living in Nigeria or South Africa) and used the data from these studies to calculate the proportions of ER+, PR+, and HER2+ tumors (the number of receptor-positive tumors divided by the number of tumors with known receptor status) across Africa. The proportion of ER+ tumors varied markedly between studies, ranging between 0.40 and 0.80 in North Africa and between 0.20 and 0.70 in sub-Saharan Africa. Among prospectively collected samples (samples collected specifically for receptor-status testing; studies that determined the receptor status of breast cancers using stored samples reported a lower proportion of ER+ disease than studies that used prospectively collected samples), the overall pooled proportions of ER+ and triple negative tumors were 0.59 and 0.21, respectively.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Although these findings highlight the scarcity of data on hormone receptor and HER2 status in breast cancers in indigenous African populations, they provide new information about the distribution of breast cancer subtypes in Africa. Specifically, these findings suggest that although slightly more than half of breast cancers in Africa are ER+, no single subtype dominates. They also suggest that the distribution of receptor-defined breast cancer subtypes in Africa is similar to that found in Western populations. The accuracy of these findings is likely to be affected by the low methodological quality of many of the studies and the lack of standardized procedures. Thus, large well-designed studies are still needed to accurately quantify the distribution of various breast cancer subtypes across Africa. In the meantime, the current findings support the introduction of routine receptor testing across Africa, especially for young women with early stage breast cancer in whom the potential to improve survival and reduce the years of life lost by knowing the receptor status of an individual's tumor is greatest.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001720.
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by Sulma i Mohammed
The US National Cancer Institute (NCI) provides comprehensive information about cancer (in English and Spanish), including detailed information for patients and professionals about breast cancer including an online booklet for patients
Cancer Research UK, a not-for profit organization, provides information about cancer; its detailed information about breast cancer includes sections on tests for hormone receptors and HER2 and on treatments that target hormone receptors and treatments that target HER2
Breastcancer.org is a not-for-profit organization that provides up-to-date information about breast cancer (in English and Spanish), including information on hormone receptor status and HER2 status
The UK National Health Service Choices website has information and personal stories about breast cancer; the not-for profit organization Healthtalkonline also provides personal stories about dealing with breast cancer
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001720
PMCID: PMC4159229  PMID: 25202974
12.  Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Patients With Chronic Pulmonary Disease (COPD) 
Executive Summary
In July 2010, the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) began work on a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) evidentiary framework, an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding treatment strategies for patients with COPD. This project emerged from a request by the Health System Strategy Division of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care that MAS provide them with an evidentiary platform on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of COPD interventions.
After an initial review of health technology assessments and systematic reviews of COPD literature, and consultation with experts, MAS identified the following topics for analysis: vaccinations (influenza and pneumococcal), smoking cessation, multidisciplinary care, pulmonary rehabilitation, long-term oxygen therapy, noninvasive positive pressure ventilation for acute and chronic respiratory failure, hospital-at-home for acute exacerbations of COPD, and telehealth (including telemonitoring and telephone support). Evidence-based analyses were prepared for each of these topics. For each technology, an economic analysis was also completed where appropriate. In addition, a review of the qualitative literature on patient, caregiver, and provider perspectives on living and dying with COPD was conducted, as were reviews of the qualitative literature on each of the technologies included in these analyses.
The Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Mega-Analysis series is made up of the following reports, which can be publicly accessed at the MAS website at: http://www.hqontario.ca/en/mas/mas_ohtas_mn.html.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Evidentiary Framework
Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccinations for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Smoking Cessation for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Community-Based Multidisciplinary Care for Patients With Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Long-term Oxygen Therapy for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation for Acute Respiratory Failure Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation for Chronic Respiratory Failure Patients With Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Hospital-at-Home Programs for Patients With Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Home Telehealth for Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): An Evidence-Based Analysis
Cost-Effectiveness of Interventions for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Using an Ontario Policy Model
Experiences of Living and Dying With COPD: A Systematic Review and Synthesis of the Qualitative Empirical Literature
For more information on the qualitative review, please contact Mita Giacomini at: http://fhs.mcmaster.ca/ceb/faculty member_giacomini.htm.
For more information on the economic analysis, please visit the PATH website: http://www.path-hta.ca/About-Us/Contact-Us.aspx.
The Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment (THETA) collaborative has produced an associated report on patient preference for mechanical ventilation. For more information, please visit the THETA website: http://theta.utoronto.ca/static/contact.
Objective
The objective of this evidence-based review was to determine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of pulmonary rehabilitation in the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Technology
Pulmonary rehabilitation refers to a multidisciplinary program of care for patients with chronic respiratory impairment that is individually tailored and designed to optimize physical and social performance and autonomy. Exercise training is the cornerstone of pulmonary rehabilitation programs, though they may also include components such as patient education and psychological support. Pulmonary rehabilitation is recommended as the standard of care in the treatment and rehabilitation of patients with COPD who remain symptomatic despite treatment with bronchodilators.
For the purpose of this review, the Medical Advisory Secretariat focused on pulmonary rehabilitation programs as defined by the Cochrane Collaboration—that is, any inpatient, outpatient, or home-based rehabilitation program lasting at least 4 weeks that includes exercise therapy with or without any form of education and/or psychological support delivered to patients with exercise limitations attributable to COPD.
Research Questions
What is the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of pulmonary rehabilitation compared with usual care (UC) for patients with stable COPD?
Does early pulmonary rehabilitation (within 1 month of hospital discharge) in patients who had an acute exacerbation of COPD improve outcomes compared with UC (or no rehabilitation)?
Do maintenance or postrehabilitation programs for patients with COPD who have completed a pulmonary rehabilitation program improve outcomes compared with UC?
Research Methods
Literature Search
Search Strategy
For Research Questions 1and 2, a literature search was performed on August 10, 2010 for studies published from January 1, 2004 to July 31, 2010. For Research Question 3, a literature search was performed on February 3, 2011 for studies published from January 1, 2000 to February 3, 2011. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer and, for those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. Reference lists and health technology assessment websites were also examined for any additional relevant studies not identified through the systematic search.
Inclusion Criteria
Research questions 1 and 2:
published between January 1, 2004 and July 31, 2010
randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses
COPD study population
studies comparing pulmonary rehabilitation with UC (no pulmonary rehabilitation)
duration of pulmonary rehabilitation program ≥ 6 weeks
pulmonary rehabilitation program had to include at minimum exercise training
Research question 3:
published between January 1, 2000 and February 3, 2011
randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses
COPD study population
studies comparing a maintenance or postrehabilitation program with UC (standard follow-up)
duration of pulmonary rehabilitation program ≥ 6 weeks
initial pulmonary rehabilitation program had to include at minimum exercise training
Exclusion Criteria
Research questions 1, 2, and 3:
grey literature
duplicate publications
non-English language publications
study population ≤ 18 years of age
studies conducted in a palliative population
studies that did not report primary outcome of interest
Additional exclusion criteria for research question 3:
studies with ≤ 2 sessions/visits per month
Outcomes of Interest
The primary outcomes of interest for the stable COPD population were exercise capacity and health-related quality of life (HRQOL). For the COPD population following an exacerbation, the primary outcomes of interest were hospital readmissions and HRQOL. The primary outcomes of interest for the COPD population undertaking maintenance programs were functional exercise capacity and HRQOL.
Quality of Evidence
The quality of each included study was assessed taking into consideration allocation concealment, randomization, blinding, power/sample size, withdrawals/dropouts, and intention-to-treat analyses.
The quality of the body of evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low, or very low according to the GRADE Working Group criteria. The following definitions of quality were used in grading the quality of the evidence:
Summary of Findings
Research Question 1: Effect of Pulmonary Rehabilitation on Outcomes in Stable COPD
Seventeen randomized controlled trials met the inclusion criteria and were included in this review.
The following conclusions are based on moderate quality of evidence.
Pulmonary rehabilitation including at least 4 weeks of exercise training leads to clinically and statistically significant improvements in HRQOL in patients with COPD.1
Pulmonary rehabilitation also leads to a clinically and statistically significant improvement in functional exercise capacity2 (weighted mean difference, 54.83 m; 95% confidence interval, 35.63–74.03; P < 0.001).
Research Question 2: Effect of Pulmonary Rehabilitation on Outcomes Following an Acute Exacerbation of COPD
Five randomized controlled trials met the inclusion criteria and are included in this review. The following conclusion is based on moderate quality of evidence.
Pulmonary rehabilitation (within 1 month of hospital discharge) after acute exacerbation significantly reduces hospital readmissions (relative risk, 0.50; 95% confidence interval, 0.33–0.77; P = 0.001) and leads to a statistically and clinically significant improvement in HRQOL.3
Research Question 3: Effect of Pulmonary Rehabilitation Maintenance Programs on COPD Outcomes
Three randomized controlled trials met the inclusion criteria and are included in this review. The conclusions are based on a low quality of evidence and must therefore be considered with caution.
Maintenance programs have a nonsignificant effect on HRQOL and hospitalizations.
Maintenance programs have a statistically but not clinically significant effect on exercise capacity (P = 0.01). When subgrouped by intensity and quality of study, maintenance programs have a statistically and marginally clinically significant effect on exercise capacity.
PMCID: PMC3384375  PMID: 23074434
13.  Bariatric Surgery for People with Diabetes and Morbid Obesity 
Executive Summary
In June 2008, the Medical Advisory Secretariat began work on the Diabetes Strategy Evidence Project, an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding strategies for successful management and treatment of diabetes. This project came about when the Health System Strategy Division at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care subsequently asked the secretariat to provide an evidentiary platform for the Ministry’s newly released Diabetes Strategy.
After an initial review of the strategy and consultation with experts, the secretariat identified five key areas in which evidence was needed. Evidence-based analyses have been prepared for each of these five areas: insulin pumps, behavioural interventions, bariatric surgery, home telemonitoring, and community based care. For each area, an economic analysis was completed where appropriate and is described in a separate report.
To review these titles within the Diabetes Strategy Evidence series, please visit the Medical Advisory Secretariat Web site, http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/mas/masabout.html,
Diabetes Strategy Evidence Platform: Summary of Evidence-Based Analyses
Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion Pumps for Type 1 and Type 2 Adult Diabetics: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Behavioural Interventions for Type 2 Diabetes: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Bariatric Surgery for People with Diabetes and Morbid Obesity: An Evidence-Based Summary
Community-Based Care for the Management of Type 2 Diabetes: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Home Telemonitoring for Type 2 Diabetes: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Application of the Ontario Diabetes Economic Model (ODEM) to Determine the Cost-effectiveness and Budget Impact of Selected Type 2 Diabetes Interventions in Ontario
Objective
The purpose of this evidence-based analysis was to examine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of bariatric surgery for the management of diabetes in morbidly obese people.
This report summarized evidence specific to bariatric surgery and the improvement of diabetes from the full evidence-based analysis of bariatric surgery for the treatment of morbid obesity completed by the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) in January 2005. To view the full report, please visit the MAS website at: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/mas/tech/techmn.html.
Clinical Need: Condition and Target Population
Obesity is defined as an excessive accumulation of body fat as measured by the body mass index (BMI) and calculated as body weight in kilograms (kg) divided by height in metres squared (m2). People with a BMI over 30 kg/m2 are considered obese in most countries. The condition is associated with the development of several diseases, including hypertension, diabetes mellitus (type 2 diabetes), hyperlipidemia, coronary artery disease, obstructive sleep apnea, depression, and cancers of the breast, uterus, prostate, and colon. Clinically severe, or morbid obesity, is commonly defined by a BMI of at least 40 kg/m2, or a BMI of at least 35 kg/m2 if there are comorbid conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or arthritis.
The prevalence of morbid obesity among people with type 2 diabetes has been examined and of 2,460 patients with type 2 diabetes, 52% (n = 1,279) were obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) and 23% (n = 561) had a BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2.
Bariatric Surgery
Men and women with morbid obesity may be eligible for surgical intervention. There are numerous surgical options available, all of which can be divided into two general types, both of which can be performed either as open surgery or laparoscopically:
malabsorptive - bypassing parts of the gastrointestinal tract to limit the absorption of food, and
restrictive - decreasing the size of the stomach in order for the patient to feel satiated with a smaller amount food
Surgery for morbid obesity is usually considered a last resort for people who have attempted first-line medical management (e.g. diet, behaviour modification, increased physical activity, and drugs) but who have not lost weight permanently. Surgery is restricted to people with morbid obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2) or those with a BMI of at least 35 kg/m2 and serious comorbid conditions.
Evidence-Based Analysis Methods
Details of the full literature search can be found in the 2005 evidence-based analysis of bariatric surgery (http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/mas/tech/techmn.html). Briefly, a literature search was conducted examining published works from January 1996 to December 2004, including OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), The Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment/Centre for Review and Dissemination.
Inclusion Criteria
Data on the effectiveness or cost-effectiveness of bariatric surgery for the improvement of diabetes
Systematic reviews, randomized controlled trials (RCTs), and observational controlled prospective studies that had >100 patients
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs), systematic reviews and meta-analyses
Exclusion Criteria
Duplicate publications (superseded by another publication by the same investigator group, with the same objective and data)
Non-English-language articles
Non-systematic reviews, letters, and editorials
Animal and in-vitro studies
Case reports, case series
Studies that did not examine the outcomes of interest
Outcomes of Interest
Improvement or resolution of diabetes
The quality of the studies was examined according to the GRADE Working Group criteria for grading quality of evidence.
Summary of Findings
There is evidence that bariatric surgery is effective for improvement and resolution of diabetes in patients who are morbidly obese (BMI≥35 kg/m2). The quality of evidence for the use of bariatric surgery for the resolution or improvement of diabetes in morbidly obese people, according to the GRADE quality-of-evidence criteria, was found to be moderate (see ES Table 1).
Comparison of various bariatric techniques:
No prospective, long-term direct comparison is available between malabsorptive and restrictive techniques.
Retrospective subgroup analyses from a large observational study showed greater improvement and resolution of diabetes using malabsorptive techniques rather than purely restrictive methods.
There is evidence from a meta-analysis that malabsorptive techniques are better than other banding techniques in terms of improvement and resolution of diabetes.
Keywords
Bariatric surgery, morbid obesity, comorbidity, diabetes
GRADE Quality of Evidence for Bariatric Surgery for the Resolution or Improvement of Diabetes
Downgraded due to study design (not randomized controlled trial)
Unlikely to be an important uncertainty. Inclusion criteria for the SOS study not specific to conventional definition of “morbidly obese” patients (BMI ≥ 40 or ≥ 35 kg/m2 with comorbid conditions)
Unlikely to be an important uncertainty. Control group not standardized, however, this lends to the pragmatic nature of the study.
PMCID: PMC3377514  PMID: 23074527
14.  The muscle mass, omega-3, diet, exercise and lifestyle (MODEL) study – a randomised controlled trial for women who have completed breast cancer treatment 
BMC Cancer  2014;14:264.
Background
Loss of lean body mass (LBM) is a common occurrence after treatment for breast cancer and is related to deleterious metabolic health outcomes [Clin Oncol, 22(4):281–288, 2010; Appl Physiol Nutr Metab, 34(5):950–956, 2009]. The aim of this research is to determine the effectiveness of long chain omega-3 fatty acids (LCn-3s) and exercise training alone, or in combination, in addressing LBM loss in breast cancer survivors.
Methods/design
A total of 153 women who have completed treatment for breast cancer in the last 12 months, with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 20 to 35 kg/m2, will be randomly assigned to one of 3 groups: 3g/d LCn-3s (N-3), a 12-week nutrition and exercise education program plus olive oil (P-LC) or the education program plus LCn-3s (EX+N-3). Participants randomised to the education groups will be blinded to treatment, and will receive either olive oil placebo (OO+N-3) or LCn-3 provision, while the N-3 group will be open label. The education program includes nine 60-75min sessions over 12 weeks that will involve breast cancer specific healthy eating advice, plus a supervised exercise session run as a resistance exercise circuit. They will also be advised to conduct the resistance training and aerobic training 5 to 7 days per week collectively. Outcome measures will be taken at baseline, 12-weeks and 24-weeks. The primary outcome is % change in LBM as measured by the air displacement plethysmograhy. Secondary outcomes include quality of life (FACT-B + 4) and inflammation (C-Reactive protein: CRP). Additional measures taken will be erythrocyte fatty acid analysis, fatigue, physical activity, menopausal symptoms, dietary intake, joint pain and function indices.
Discussion
This research will provide the first insight into the efficacy of LCn-3s alone or in combination with exercise in breast cancer survivors with regards to LBM and quality of life. In addition, this study is designed to improve evidence-based dietetic practice, and how specific dietary prescription may link with appropriate exercise interventions.
Trials registration
ACTRN12610001005044; and World Health Organisation Universal trial number: U1111-1116-8520.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-264
PMCID: PMC4006632  PMID: 24739260
Breast cancer; Omega-3 fatty acids; Body composition; Exercise; Lean body mass; Inflammation
15.  Dose–response effects of exercise training on the subjective sleep quality of postmenopausal women: exploratory analyses of a randomised controlled trial 
BMJ Open  2012;2(4):e001044.
Objective
To investigate whether a dose–response relationship existed between exercise and subjective sleep quality in postmenopausal women. This objective represents a post hoc assessment that was not previously considered.
Design
Parallel-group randomised controlled trial.
Setting
Clinical exercise physiology laboratory in Dallas, Texas.
Participants
437 sedentary overweight/obese postmenopausal women.
Intervention
Participants were randomised to one of four treatments, each of 6 months of duration: a non-exercise control treatment (n=92) or one of three dosages of moderate-intensity exercise (50% of VO2peak), designed to meet 50% (n=151), 100% (n=99) or 150% (n=95) of the National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Panel physical activity recommendations. Exercise dosages were structured to elicit energy expenditures of 4, 8 or 12 kilocalories per kilogram of body weight per week (KKW), respectively. Analyses were intent to treat.
Primary outcome measures
Continuous scores and odds of having significant sleep disturbance, as assessed by the Sleep Problems Index from the 6-item Medical Outcomes Study Sleep Scale. Outcome assessors were blinded to participant randomisation assignment.
Results
Change in the Medical Outcomes Study Sleep Problems Index score at 6 months significantly differed by treatment group (control: −2.09 (95% CI −4.58 to 0.40), 4 KKW: −3.93 (−5.87 to −1.99), 8 KKW: −4.06 (−6.45 to −1.67), 12 KKW: −6.22 (−8.68 to −3.77); p=0.04), with a significant dose–response trend observed (p=0.02). Exercise training participants had lower odds of having significant sleep disturbance at postintervention compared with control (4 KKW: OR 0.37 (95% CI 0.19 to 0.73), 8 KKW: 0.36 (0.17 to 0.77), 12 KKW: 0.34 (0.16 to 0.72)). The magnitude of weight loss did not differ between treatment conditions. Improvements in sleep quality were not related to changes in body weight, resting parasympathetic control or cardiorespiratory fitness.
Conclusion
Exercise training induced significant improvement in subjective sleep quality in postmenopausal women, with even a low dose of exercise resulting in greatly reduced odds of having significant sleep disturbance.
Trial registration number
clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT00011193.
Article summary
Article focus
Sleep disturbance is prevalent in postmenopausal women, with 35%–60% reporting significant sleep problems.
Effective, safe and easily available treatment options for disturbed sleep in postmenopausal women are lacking.
There has been equivocal evidence as to whether exercise improves sleep in postmenopausal women, though possible dose–response effects have been noted.
Key messages
Exercise resulted in significant improvement in subjective sleep quality in postmenopausal women, with reduced odds of having sleep disturbance at postintervention with even 50% of the recommended dose of exercise for adults.
The effects of exercise on sleep quality were independent of changes in body weight, resting parasympathetic control or cardiorespiratory fitness.
Strengths and limitations of this study
The study constitutes the largest randomised controlled trial on exercise and sleep quality, using a structured dose of exercise and a validated measure of sleep quality.
Only self-reported sleep was assessed; objective measurement of sleep, with either actigraphy or polysomnography, was not conducted.
Despite the high prevalence of sleep disturbance in the sample, participants were not selected on the basis of sleep complaints.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001044
PMCID: PMC3400065  PMID: 22798253
16.  A physiotherapist-delivered integrated exercise and pain coping skills training intervention for individuals with knee osteoarthritis: a randomised controlled trial protocol 
Background
Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a prevalent chronic musculoskeletal condition with no cure. Pain is the primary symptom and results from a complex interaction between structural changes, physical impairments and psychological factors. Much evidence supports the use of strengthening exercises to improve pain and physical function in this patient population. There is also a growing body of research examining the effects of psychologist-delivered pain coping skills training (PCST) particularly in other chronic pain conditions. Though typically provided separately, there are symptom, resource and personnel advantages of exercise and PCST being delivered together by a single healthcare professional. Physiotherapists are a logical choice to be trained to deliver a PCST intervention as they already have expertise in administering exercise for knee OA and are cognisant of the need for a biopsychosocial approach to management. No studies to date have examined the effects of an integrated exercise and PCST program delivered solely by physiotherapists in this population. The primary aim of this multisite randomised controlled trial is to investigate whether an integrated 12-week PCST and exercise treatment program delivered by physiotherapists is more efficacious than either program alone in treating pain and physical function in individuals with knee OA.
Methods/design
This will be an assessor-blinded, 3-arm randomised controlled trial of a 12-week intervention involving 10 physiotherapy visits together with home practice. Participants with symptomatic and radiographic knee OA will be recruited from the community in two cities in Australia and randomized into one of three groups: exercise alone, PCST alone, or integrated PCST and exercise. Randomisation will be stratified by city (Melbourne or Brisbane) and gender. Primary outcomes are overall average pain in the past week measured by a Visual Analogue Scale and physical function measured by the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index subscale. Secondary outcomes include global rating of change, muscle strength, functional performance, physical activity levels, health related quality of life and psychological factors. Measurements will be taken at baseline and immediately following the intervention (12 weeks) as well as at 32 weeks and 52 weeks to examine maintenance of any intervention effects. Specific assessment of adherence to the treatment program will also be made at weeks 22 and 42. Relative cost-effectiveness will be determined from health service usage and outcome data.
Discussion
The findings from this randomised controlled trial will provide evidence for the efficacy of an integrated PCST and exercise program delivered by physiotherapists in the management of painful and functionally limiting knee OA compared to either program alone.
Trial registration
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry reference number: ACTRN12610000533099
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-129
PMCID: PMC3524463  PMID: 22828288
17.  Bariatric Surgery 
Executive Summary
Objective
To conduct an evidence-based analysis of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of bariatric surgery.
Background
Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of at last 30 kg/m2.1 Morbid obesity is defined as a BMI of at least 40 kg/m2 or at least 35 kg/m2 with comorbid conditions. Comorbid conditions associated with obesity include diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemias, obstructive sleep apnea, weight-related arthropathies, and stress urinary incontinence. It is also associated with depression, and cancers of the breast, uterus, prostate, and colon, and is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Obesity is also associated with higher all-cause mortality at any age, even after adjusting for potential confounding factors like smoking. A person with a BMI of 30 kg/m2 has about a 50% higher risk of dying than does someone with a healthy BMI. The risk more than doubles at a BMI of 35 kg/m2. An expert estimated that about 160,000 people are morbidly obese in Ontario. In the United States, the prevalence of morbid obesity is 4.7% (1999–2000).
In Ontario, the 2004 Chief Medical Officer of Health Report said that in 2003, almost one-half of Ontario adults were overweight (BMI 25–29.9 kg/m2) or obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2). About 57% of Ontario men and 42% of Ontario women were overweight or obese. The proportion of the population that was overweight or obese increased gradually from 44% in 1990 to 49% in 2000, and it appears to have stabilized at 49% in 2003. The report also noted that the tendency to be overweight and obese increases with age up to 64 years. BMI should be used cautiously for people aged 65 years and older, because the “normal” range may begin at slightly above 18.5 kg/m2 and extend into the “overweight” range.
The Chief Medical Officer of Health cautioned that these data may underestimate the true extent of the problem, because they were based on self reports, and people tend to over-report their height and under-report their weight. The actual number of Ontario adults who are overweight or obese may be higher.
Diet, exercise, and behavioural therapy are used to help people lose weight. The goals of behavioural therapy are to identify, monitor, and alter behaviour that does not help weight loss. Techniques include self-monitoring of eating habits and physical activity, stress management, stimulus control, problem solving, cognitive restructuring, contingency management, and identifying and using social support. Relapse, when people resume old, unhealthy behaviour and then regain the weight, can be problematic.
Drugs (including gastrointestinal lipase inhibitors, serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, and appetite suppressants) may be used if behavioural interventions fail. However, estimates of efficacy may be confounded by high rates of noncompliance, in part owing to the side effects of the drugs. In addition, the drugs have not been approved for indefinite use, despite the chronic nature of obesity.
The Technology
Morbidly obese people may be eligible for bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgery for morbid obesity is considered an intervention of last resort for patients who have attempted first-line forms of medical management, such as diet, increased physical activity, behavioural modification, and drugs.
There are various bariatric surgical procedures and several different variations for each of these procedures. The surgical interventions can be divided into 2 general types: malabsorptive (bypassing parts of the gastrointestinal tract to limit the absorption of food), and restrictive (decreasing the size of the stomach so that the patient is satiated with less food). All of these may be performed as either open surgery or laparoscopically. An example of a malabsorptive technique is Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB). Examples of restrictive techniques are vertical banded gastroplasty (VBG) and adjustable gastric banding (AGB).
The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) Schedule of Benefits for Physician Services includes fee code “S120 gastric bypass or partition, for morbid obesity” as an insured service. The term gastric bypass is a general term that encompasses a variety of surgical methods, all of which involve reconfiguring the digestive system. The term gastric bypass does not include AGB. The number of gastric bypass procedures funded and done in Ontario, and funded as actual out-of-country approvals,2 is shown below.
Number of Gastric Bypass Procedures by Fiscal Year: Ontario and Actual Out-of-Country (OOC) Approvals
Data from Provider Services, MOHLTC
Courtesy of Provider Services, Ministry of Health and Long Term Care
Review Strategy
The Medical Advisory Secretariat reviewed the literature to assess the effectiveness, safety, and cost-effectiveness of bariatric surgery to treat morbid obesity. It used its standard search strategy to retrieve international health technology assessments and English-language journal articles from selected databases. The interventions of interest were bariatric surgery and, for the controls, either optimal conventional management or another type of bariatric procedure. The outcomes of interest were improvement in comorbid conditions (e.g., diabetes, hypertension); short- and long-term weight loss; quality of life; adverse effects; and economic analysis data. The databases yielded 15 international health technology assessments or systematic reviews on bariatric surgery.
Subsequently, the Medical Advisory Secretariat searched MEDLINE and EMBASE from April 2004 to December 2004, after the search cut-off date of April, 2004, for the most recent systematic reviews on bariatric surgery. Ten studies met the inclusion criteria. One of those 10 was the Swedish Obese Subjects study, which started as a registry and intervention study, and then published findings on people who had been enrolled for at least 2 years or at least 10 years. In addition to the literature review of economic analysis data, the Medical Advisory Secretariat also did an Ontario-based economic analysis.
Summary of Findings
Bariatric surgery generally is effective for sustained weight loss of about 16% for people with BMIs of at least 40 kg/m2 or at least 35 kg/m2 with comorbid conditions (including diabetes, high lipid levels, and hypertension). It also is effective at resolving the associated comorbid conditions. This conclusion is largely based on level 3a evidence from the prospectively designed Swedish Obese Subjects study, which recently published 10-year outcomes for patients who had bariatric surgery compared with patients who received nonsurgical treatment. (1)
Regarding specific procedures, there is evidence that malabsorptive techniques are better than other banding techniques for weight loss and resolution of comorbid illnesses. However, there are no published prospective, long-term, direct comparisons of these techniques available.
Surgery for morbid obesity is considered an intervention of last resort for patients who have attempted first-line forms of medical management, such as diet, increased physical activity, behavioural modification, and drugs. In the absence of direct comparisons of active nonsurgical intervention via caloric restriction with bariatric techniques, the following observations are made:
A recent systematic review examining the efficacy of major commercial and organized self-help weight loss programs in the United States concluded that the evidence to support the use of such programs was suboptimal, except for one trial on Weight Watchers. Furthermore, the programs were associated with high costs, attrition rates, and probability of regaining at least 50% of the lost weight in 1 to 2 years. (2)
A recent randomized controlled trial reported 1-year outcomes comparing weight loss and metabolic changes in severely obese patients assigned to either a low-carbohydrate diet or a conventional weight loss diet. At 1 year, weight loss was similar for patients in each group (mean, 2–5 kg). There was a favourable effect on triglyceride levels and glycemic control in the low-carbohydrate diet group. (3)
A decision-analysis model showed bariatric surgery results in increased life expectancy in morbidly obese patients when compared to diet and exercise. (4)
A cost-effectiveness model showed bariatric surgery is cost-effective relative to nonsurgical management. (5)
Extrapolating from 2003 data from the United States, Ontario would likely need to do 3,500 bariatric surgeries per year. It currently does 508 per year, including out-of-country surgeries.
PMCID: PMC3382415  PMID: 23074460
18.  Benefits of supervised group exercise programme for women being treated for early stage breast cancer: pragmatic randomised controlled trial 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2007;334(7592):517.
Objectives To determine functional and psychological benefits of a 12 week supervised group exercise programme during treatment for early stage breast cancer, with six month follow-up.
Design Pragmatic randomised controlled prospective open trial.
Setting Three National Health Service oncology clinics in Scotland and community exercise facilities.
Participants 203 women entered the study; 177 completed the six month follow-up.
Interventions Supervised 12 week group exercise programme in addition to usual care, compared with usual care.
Main outcome measures Functional assessment of cancer therapy (FACT) questionnaire, Beck depression inventory, positive and negative affect scale, body mass index, seven day recall of physical activity, 12 minute walk test, and assessment of shoulder mobility.
Results Mixed effects models with adjustment for baseline values, study site, treatment at baseline, and age gave intervention effect estimates (intervention minus control) at 12 weeks of 129 (95% confidence interval 83 to 176) for metres walked in 12 minutes, 182 (75 to 289) for minutes of moderate intensity activity reported in a week, 2.6 (1.6 to 3.7) for shoulder mobility, 2.5 (1.0 to 3.9) for breast cancer specific subscale of quality of life, and 4.0 (1.8 to 6.3) for positive mood. No significant effect was seen for general quality of life (FACT-G), which was the primary outcome. At the six month follow-up, most of these effects were maintained and an intervention effect for breast cancer specific quality of life emerged. No adverse effects were noted.
Conclusion Supervised group exercise provided functional and psychological benefit after a 12 week intervention and six months later. Clinicians should encourage activity for their patients. Policy makers should consider the inclusion of exercise opportunities in cancer rehabilitation services.
Trial registration Current controlled trials ISRCTN12587864.
doi:10.1136/bmj.39094.648553.AE
PMCID: PMC1819494  PMID: 17307761
19.  Gene Expression Profiling for Guiding Adjuvant Chemotherapy Decisions in Women with Early Breast Cancer 
Executive Summary
In February 2010, the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) began work on evidence-based reviews of published literature surrounding three pharmacogenomic tests. This project came about when Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) asked MAS to provide evidence-based analyses on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of three oncology pharmacogenomic tests currently in use in Ontario.
Evidence-based analyses have been prepared for each of these technologies. These have been completed in conjunction with internal and external stakeholders, including a Provincial Expert Panel on Pharmacogenomics (PEPP). Within the PEPP, subgroup committees were developed for each disease area. For each technology, an economic analysis was also completed by the Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment Collaborative (THETA) and is summarized within the reports.
The following reports can be publicly accessed at the MAS website at: www.health.gov.on.ca/mas or at www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/mas/mas_about.html
Gene Expression Profiling for Guiding Adjuvant Chemotherapy Decisions in Women with Early Breast Cancer: An Evidence-Based and Economic Analysis
Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Mutation (EGFR) Testing for Prediction of Response to EGFR-Targeting Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor (TKI) Drugs in Patients with Advanced Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer: An Evidence-Based and Ecopnomic Analysis
K-RAS testing in Treatment Decisions for Advanced Colorectal Cancer: an Evidence-Based and Economic Analysis
Objective
To review and synthesize the available evidence regarding the laboratory performance, prognostic value, and predictive value of Oncotype-DX for the target population.
Clinical Need: Condition and Target Population
The target population of this review is women with newly diagnosed early stage (stage I–IIIa) invasive breast cancer that is estrogen-receptor (ER) positive and/or progesterone-receptor (PR) positive. Much of this review, however, is relevant for women with early stage (I and II) invasive breast cancer that is specifically ER positive, lymph node (LN) negative and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2/neu) negative. This refined population represents an estimated incident population of 3,315 new breast cancers in Ontario (according to 2007 data). Currently it is estimated that only 15% of these women will develop a distant metastasis at 10 years; however, a far great proportion currently receive adjuvant chemotherapy, suggesting that more women are being treated with chemotherapy than can benefit. There is therefore a need to develop better prognostic and predictive tools to improve the selection of women that may benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy.
Technology of Concern
The Oncotype-DX Breast Cancer Assay (Genomic Health, Redwood City, CA) quantifies gene expression for 21 genes in breast cancer tissue by performing reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tumour blocks that are obtained during initial surgery (lumpectomy, mastectomy, or core biopsy) of women with early breast cancer that is newly diagnosed. The panel of 21 genes include genes associated with tumour proliferation and invasion, as well as other genes related to HER-2/neu expression, ER expression, and progesterone receptor (PR) expression.
Research Questions
What is the laboratory performance of Oncotype-DX?
How reliable is Oncotype-DX (i.e., how repeatable and reproducible is Oncotype-DX)?
How often does Oncotype-DX fail to give a useable result?
What is the prognostic value of Oncotype-DX?*
Is Oncotype-DX recurrence score associated with the risk of distant recurrence or death due to any cause in women with early breast cancer receiving tamoxifen?
What is the predictive value of Oncotype-DX?*
Does Oncoytpe-DX recurrence score predict significant benefit in terms of improvements in 10-year distant recurrence or death due to any cause for women receiving tamoxifen plus chemotherapy in comparison to women receiving tamoxifen alone?
How does Oncotype-DX compare to other known predictors of risk such as Adjuvant! Online?
How does Oncotype-DX impact patient quality of life and clinical/patient decision-making?
Research Methods
Literature Search
Search Strategy
A literature search was performed on March 19th, 2010 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), the Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies published from January 1st, 2006 to March 19th, 2010. A starting search date of January 1st, 2006 was because a comprehensive systematic review of Oncotype-DX was identified in preliminary literature searching. This systematic review, by Marchionni et al. (2008), included literature up to January 1st, 2007. All studies identified in the review by Marchionni et al. as well as those identified in updated literature searching were used to form the evidentiary base of this review. The quality of the overall body of evidence was identified as high, moderate, low or very low according to GRADE methodology.
Inclusion Criteria
Any observational trial, controlled clinical trial, randomized controlled trial (RCT), meta-analysis or systematic review that reported on the laboratory performance, prognostic value and/or predictive value of Oncotype-DX testing, or other outcome relevant to the Key Questions, specific to the target population was included.
Exclusion Criteria
Studies that did not report original data or original data analysis,
Studies published in a language other than English,
Studies reported only in abstract or as poster presentations (such publications were not sought nor included in this review since the MAS does not generally consider evidence that is not subject to peer review nor does the MAS consider evidence that lacks detailed description of methodology).
Outcomes of Interest
Outcomes of interest varied depending on the Key Question. For the Key Questions of prognostic and predictive value (Key Questions #2 and #3), the prospectively defined primary outcome was risk of 10-year distant recurrence. The prospectively defined secondary outcome was 10-year death due to any cause (i.e., overall survival). All additional outcomes such as risk of locoregional recurrence or disease-free survival (DFS) were not prospectively determined for this review but were reported as presented in included trials; these outcomes are referenced as tertiary outcomes in this review. Outcomes for other Key Questions (i.e., Key Questions #1, #4 and #5) were not prospectively defined due to the variability in endpoints relevant for these questions.
Summary of Findings
A total of 26 studies were included. Of these 26 studies, only five studies were relevant to the primary questions of this review (Key Questions #2 and #3). The following conclusions were drawn from the entire body of evidence:
There is a lack of external validation to support the reliability of Oncotype-DX; however, the current available evidence derived from internal industry validation studies suggests that Oncotype-DX is reliable (i.e., Oncotype-DX is repeatable and reproducible).
Current available evidence suggests a moderate failure rate of Oncotype-DX testing; however, the failure rate observed across clinical trials included in this review is likely inflated; the current Ontario experience suggests an acceptably lower rate of test failure.
In women with newly diagnosed early breast cancer (stage I–II) that is estrogen-receptor positive and/or progesterone-receptor positive and lymph-node negative:
There is low quality evidence that Oncotype-DX has prognostic value in women who are being treated with adjuvant tamoxifen or anastrozole (the latter for postmenopausal women only),
There is very low quality evidence that Oncotype-DX can predict which women will benefit from adjuvant CMF/MF chemotherapy in women being treated with adjuvant tamoxifen.
In postmenopausal women with newly diagnosed early breast cancer that is estrogen-receptor positive and/or progesterone-receptor positive and lymph-node positive:
There is low quality evidence that Oncotype-DX has limited prognostic value in women who are being treated with adjuvant tamoxifen or anastrozole,
There is very low quality evidence that Oncotype-DX has limited predictive value for predicting which women will benefit from adjuvant CAF chemotherapy in women who are being treated with adjuvant tamoxifen.
There are methodological and statistical limitations that affect both the generalizability of the current available evidence, as well as the magnitude and statistical strength of the observed effect sizes; in particular:
Of the major predictive trials, Oncotype-DX scores were only produced for a small subset of women (<40% of the original randomized population) potentially disabling the effects of treatment randomization and opening the possibility of selection bias;
Data is not specific to HER-2/neu-negative women;
There were limitations with multivariate statistical analyses.
Additional trials of observational design may provide further validation of the prognostic and predictive value of Oncotype-DX; however, it is unlikely that prospective or randomized data will become available in the near future due to ethical, time and resource considerations.
There is currently insufficient evidence investigating how Oncoytpe-DX compares to other known prognostic estimators of risk, such as Adjuvant! Online, and there is insufficient evidence investigating how Oncotype-DX would impact clinician/patient decision-making in a setting generalizable to Ontario.
PMCID: PMC3382301  PMID: 23074401
20.  Weight Loss, Exercise, or Both and Physical Function in Obese Older Adults 
The New England journal of medicine  2011;364(13):1218-1229.
BACKGROUND
Obesity exacerbates the age-related decline in physical function and causes frailty in older adults; however, the appropriate treatment for obese older adults is controversial.
METHODS
In this 1-year, randomized, controlled trial, we evaluated the independent and combined effects of weight loss and exercise in 107 adults who were 65 years of age or older and obese. Participants were randomly assigned to a control group, a weightmanagement (diet) group, an exercise group, or a weight-management-plus-exercise (diet–exercise) group. The primary outcome was the change in score on the modified Physical Performance Test. Secondary outcomes included other measures of frailty, body composition, bone mineral density, specific physical functions, and quality of life.
RESULTS
A total of 93 participants (87%) completed the study. In the intention-to-treat analysis, the score on the Physical Performance Test, in which higher scores indicate better physical status, increased more in the diet–exercise group than in the diet group or the exercise group (increases from baseline of 21% vs. 12% and 15%, respectively); the scores in all three of those groups increased more than the scores in the control group (in which the score increased by 1%) (P<0.001 for the between-group differences). Moreover, the peak oxygen consumption improved more in the diet–exercise group than in the diet group or the exercise group (increases of 17% vs. 10% and 8%, respectively; P<0.001); the score on the Functional Status Questionnaire, in which higher scores indicate better physical function, increased more in the diet–exercise group than in the diet group (increase of 10% vs. 4%, P<0.001). Body weight decreased by 10% in the diet group and by 9% in the diet–exercise group, but did not decrease in the exercise group or the control group (P<0.001). Lean body mass and bone mineral density at the hip decreased less in the diet–exercise group than in the diet group (reductions of 3% and 1%, respectively, in the diet–exercise group vs. reductions of 5% and 3%, respectively, in the diet group; P<0.05 for both comparisons). Strength, balance, and gait improved consistently in the diet–exercise group (P<0.05 for all comparisons). Adverse events included a small number of exercise-associated musculoskeletal injuries.
CONCLUSIONS
These findings suggest that a combination of weight loss and exercise provides greater improvement in physical function than either intervention alone.
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1008234
PMCID: PMC3114602  PMID: 21449785
21.  Effects of a Combined Aerobic and Strength Training Program in Youth Patients with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia 
Cure rates of youth with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) have increased in the past decades, but survivor’s quality of life and physical fitness has become a growing concern. Although previous reports showed that resistance training is feasible and effective, we hypothesized that a more intense exercise program would also be feasible, but more beneficial than low- to moderate-intensity training programs. We aimed to examine the effects of an exercise program combining high-intensity resistance exercises and moderate-intensity aerobic exercises in young patients undergoing treatment for ALL. A quasi-experimental study was conducted. The patients (n = 6; 5-16 years of age) underwent a 12-week intra-hospital training program involving high-intensity strength exercises and aerobic exercise at 70% of the peak oxygen consumption. At baseline and after 12 weeks, we assessed sub-maximal strength (10 repetition-maximum), quality of life and possible adverse effects. A significant improvement was observed in the sub maximal strength for bench press (71%), lat pull down (50%), leg press (73%) and leg extension (64%) as a result of the training (p < 0.01). The parents’ evaluations of their children’s quality of life revealed an improvement in fatigue and general quality of life, but the children’s self-reported quality of life was not changed. No adverse effects occurred. A 12-week in-hospital training program including high-intensity resistance exercises promotes marked strength improvements in patients during the maintenance phase of the treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia without side-effects. Parents’ evaluations of their children revealed an improvement in the quality of life.
Key pointsPatients with ALL present low muscle strength and poor quality of life.High-intensity resistance exercises combined with moderate-intensity aerobic exercise improved muscle strength and quality of life during the maintenance phase of ALL treatment.The exercise training program seemed to be tolerable and safe in ALL patients.
PMCID: PMC3737942  PMID: 24149344
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia; child; strength training; pediatrics; quality of life
22.  Leisure Time Physical Activity of Moderate to Vigorous Intensity and Mortality: A Large Pooled Cohort Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(11):e1001335.
Analyzing data from over 650,000 individuals, Dr. Steven Moore and colleagues report that greater amounts of leisure-time physical activity were associated with higher life expectancy across a wide range of activity levels and body mass index groups.
Background
Leisure time physical activity reduces the risk of premature mortality, but the years of life expectancy gained at different levels remains unclear. Our objective was to determine the years of life gained after age 40 associated with various levels of physical activity, both overall and according to body mass index (BMI) groups, in a large pooled analysis.
Methods and Findings
We examined the association of leisure time physical activity with mortality during follow-up in pooled data from six prospective cohort studies in the National Cancer Institute Cohort Consortium, comprising 654,827 individuals, 21–90 y of age. Physical activity was categorized by metabolic equivalent hours per week (MET-h/wk). Life expectancies and years of life gained/lost were calculated using direct adjusted survival curves (for participants 40+ years of age), with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) derived by bootstrap. The study includes a median 10 y of follow-up and 82,465 deaths. A physical activity level of 0.1–3.74 MET-h/wk, equivalent to brisk walking for up to 75 min/wk, was associated with a gain of 1.8 (95% CI: 1.6–2.0) y in life expectancy relative to no leisure time activity (0 MET-h/wk). Higher levels of physical activity were associated with greater gains in life expectancy, with a gain of 4.5 (95% CI: 4.3–4.7) y at the highest level (22.5+ MET-h/wk, equivalent to brisk walking for 450+ min/wk). Substantial gains were also observed in each BMI group. In joint analyses, being active (7.5+ MET-h/wk) and normal weight (BMI 18.5–24.9) was associated with a gain of 7.2 (95% CI: 6.5–7.9) y of life compared to being inactive (0 MET-h/wk) and obese (BMI 35.0+). A limitation was that physical activity and BMI were ascertained by self report.
Conclusions
More leisure time physical activity was associated with longer life expectancy across a range of activity levels and BMI groups.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Regular physical activity is essential for human health. It helps to maintain a healthy body weight and prevents or delays heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. It also makes people feel better and increases life expectancy. The World Health Organization (WHO) currently recommends that adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity every week. Moderate-intensity physical activities (for example, brisk walking and gardening) require a moderate amount of effort and noticeably increase the heart rate; vigorous-intensity physical activities (for example, running or fast swimming) require a large amount of effort and cause rapid breathing and a substantial heart rate increase. Worryingly, people in both developed and developing countries are becoming increasingly physically inactive. People are sitting at desks all day instead of doing manual labor; they are driving to work in cars instead of walking or cycling; and they are participating in fewer leisure time physical activities.
Why Was This Study Done?
Although various studies suggest that physical activity increases life expectancy, few have quantified the years of life gained at distinct levels of physical activity. Moreover, the difference in life expectancy between active, overweight individuals and inactive, normal weight individuals has not been quantified. Thus, it is hard to develop a simple public health message to maximize the population benefits of physical activity. In this pooled prospective cohort analysis, the researchers determine the association between levels of leisure time physical activities, such as recreational walking, and years of life gained after age 40, both overall and within body mass index (BMI) groups. A pooled prospective cohort analysis analyzes the combined data from multiple studies that have followed groups of people to investigate associations between baseline characteristics and outcomes such as death. BMI is a ratio of weight to height, calculated by dividing a person's weight by their height squared; normal weight is defined as a BMI of 18.5–24.9 kg/m2, obesity (excessive body fat) is defined as a BMI of more than 30 kg/m2.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers pooled self-reported data on leisure time physical activities and BMIs from nearly 650,000 individuals over the age of 40 years enrolled in one Swedish and five US prospective cohort studies, most of which were investigating associations between lifestyle factors and disease risk. They used these and other data to calculate the gain in life expectancy associated with specific levels of physical activity. A physical activity level equivalent to brisk walking for up to 75 minutes per week was associated with a gain of 1.8 years in life expectancy relative to no leisure time activity. Being active—having a physical activity level at or above the WHO-recommended minimum of 150 minutes of brisk walking per week—was associated with an overall gain of life expectancy of 3.4–4.5 years. Gains in life expectancy were seen also for black individuals and former smokers, groups for whom relatively few data had been previously available. The physical activity and life expectancy association was also evident at all BMI levels. Being active and normal weight was associated with a gain of 7.2 years of life compared to being inactive and class II+ obese (having a BMI of more than 35.0 kg/m2). However, being inactive but normal weight was associated with 3.1 fewer years of life compared to being active but class I obese (having a BMI of 30–34.9 kg/m2).
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that participation in leisure time physical activity, even below the recommended level, is associated with a reduced risk of mortality compared to participation in no leisure time physical activity. This result may help convince currently inactive people that a modest physical activity program may have health benefits, even if it does not result in weight loss. The findings also suggest that physical activity at recommended levels or higher may increase longevity further, and that a lack of leisure time physical activity may markedly reduce life expectancy when combined with obesity. Although the accuracy and generalizability of these findings may be limited by certain aspects of the study's design (for example, some study participants may have overestimated their leisure time physical activity), these findings reinforce the public health message that both a physically active lifestyle and a normal body weight are important for increasing longevity.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001335.
The World Health Organization provides information about physical activity and health (in several languages); its 2010 Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health is available in several languages
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on physical activity for different age groups; its Physical Activity for Everyone webpages include guidelines, instructional videos, and personal success stories
The UK National Health Service information source NHS Choices also explains the benefits of regular physical activity and includes physical activity guidelines, tips for exercising, and some personal stories
MedlinePlus has links to other resources about exercise and physical fitness (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001335
PMCID: PMC3491006  PMID: 23139642
23.  A phase III clinical trial of exercise modalities on treatment side-effects in men receiving therapy for prostate cancer 
BMC Cancer  2009;9:210.
Background
Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is accompanied by a number of adverse side effects including reduced bone mass and increased risk for fracture, reduced lean mass and muscle strength, mood disturbance and increased fat mass compromising physical functioning, independence, and quality of life. The purpose of this investigation is to examine the effects of long term exercise on reversing musculoskeletal-related side effects, and cardiovascular and diabetes risk factors in men receiving androgen deprivation for their prostate cancer. Specifically, we aim to investigate the effects of a 12-month exercise program designed to load the musculoskeletal system and reduce cardiovascular and diabetes disease progression on the following primary endpoints: 1) bone mineral density; 2) cardiorespiratory function and maximal oxygen capacity; 3) body composition (lean mass and fat mass); 4) blood pressure and cardiovascular function; 5) lipids and glycemic control; and 6) quality of life and psychological distress.
Methods/Design
Multi-site randomized controlled trial of 195 men (65 subjects per arm) undergoing treatment for prostate cancer involving ADT in the cities of Perth and Brisbane in Australia. Participants will be randomized to (1) resistance/impact loading exercise, (2) resistance/cardiovascular exercise groups and (3) usual care/delayed exercise. Participants will then undergo progressive training for 12 months. Measurements for primary and secondary endpoints will take place at baseline, 6 and 12 months (end of the intervention).
Discussion
The principal outcome of this project will be the determination of the strength of effect of exercise on the well established musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and insulin metabolism side effects of androgen deprivation in prostate cancer patients. As this project is much longer term than previous investigations in the area of exercise and cancer, we will gain knowledge as to the continuing effects of exercise in this patient population specifically targeting bone density, cardiovascular function, lean and fat mass, physical function and falls risk as primary study endpoints. In terms of advancement of prostate cancer care, we expect dissemination of the knowledge gained from this project to reduce fracture risk, improve physical and functional ability, quality of life and ultimately survival rate in this population.
Clinical Trial Registry
A Phase III clinical trial of exercise modalities on treatment side-effects in men receiving therapy for prostate cancer; ACTRN12609000200280
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-9-210
PMCID: PMC2713263  PMID: 19563641
24.  Land-based versus aquatic resistance therapeutic exercises for older women with sarcopenic obesity: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial 
Trials  2013;14:296.
Background
Sarcopenic obesity is a health condition that combines excess adipose tissue and loss of muscle mass and strength. Sarcopenic obesity predisposes to more functional disabilities than obesity or sarcopenia alone. Progressive resistance exercises are recommended for older people as a potential treatment for sarcopenia and also for obesity. However, there is a lack of evidence indicating which programmes are best applied to older people, and no studies have investigated their effects on sarcopenic obese people. The aims of this protocol study are to investigate and compare the efficacy of land-based and aquatic resistance exercise programmes on improving muscle performance, functional capacity and quality of life of older women with sarcopenic obesity.
Methods/Design
This is a protocol study for a parallel randomised controlled clinical trial. Eligible participants are older women (≥65 years) with a body mass index ≥30 kg/m 2 and hand grip strength ≤21 kg force. A total sample of 36 participants will be randomly allocated to one of the intervention groups in blocks of three: land-based, aquatic or control. Each intervention group will undergo 2-week sessions of a 10-week therapeutic exercise programme for strength, power and endurance training of the lower-limb muscles. Participants in the control group will not participate in any strengthening activity for lower limbs and will receive telephone calls once a week. Baseline and final evaluation of outcomes will encompass muscle performance of the lower limbs assessed by an isokinetic dynamometer; functional tests of usual walking speed, maximal walking speed (shuttle walking test), stair speed and the Short Physical Performance Battery; and health-related quality of life (Medical Outcomes Study Short Form Questionnaire – SF-36). Data collectors will be blinded to randomisation and will not be in touch with participants during the interventions.
Discussion
This study is the first randomised controlled trial designed to evaluate resistance exercises in older patients with sarcopenic obesity. If our hypothesis proves correct, both intervention programmes will be effective, with the land-based exercises conferring better results in muscle performance.
Trial registration
Registro Brasileiro de Ensaios Clínicos: RBR-9p5q67
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-14-296
PMCID: PMC3848713  PMID: 24041219
Older people; Women; Sarcopenic obesity; Resistance exercises
25.  The impact of physical activity on fatigue and quality of life in lung cancer patients: a randomised controlled trial protocol 
BMC Cancer  2012;12:572.
Background
People with lung cancer have substantial symptom burden and more unmet needs than the general cancer population. Physical activity (PA) has been shown to positively influence quality of life (QOL), fatigue and daily functioning in the curative treatment of people with breast and colorectal cancers and lung diseases, as well as in palliative settings. A randomised controlled trial (RCT) is needed to determine if lung cancer patients benefit from structured PA intervention. The Physical Activity in Lung Cancer (PAL) trial is designed to evaluate the impact of a 2-month PA intervention on fatigue and QOL in patients with non-resectable lung cancer. Biological mechanisms will also be studied.
Methods/design
A multi-centre RCT with patients randomised to usual care or a 2-month PA programme, involving supervised PA sessions including a behavioural change component and home-based PA. QOL questionnaires, disease and functional status and body composition will be assessed at baseline, 2, 4 and 6 months follow-up. The primary endpoint is comparative levels of fatigue between the 2 arms. Secondary endpoints include: QOL, functional abilities and physical function. Exploratory endpoints include: anxiety, depression, distress, dyspnoea, PA behaviour, fitness, hospitalisations, survival, cytokines and insulin-like growth factor levels.
Discussion
This study will provide high-level evidence of the effect of PA programmes on cancer-related fatigue and QOL in patients with advanced lung cancer. If positive, the study has the potential to change care for people with cancer using a simple, inexpensive intervention to improve their QOL and help them maintain independent function for as long as possible.
Trial registration
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry No. ACTRN12609000971235
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-572
PMCID: PMC3534237  PMID: 23216897
Physical activity; Exercise; Fatigue; Quality of life; Lung cancer

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