Yale Cancer Center and Yale School of Public Health awarded grant to study lifestyle intervention in women with ovarian cancer

Newswise – The National Cancer Institute recently awarded Yale Cancer Center and the Yale School of Public Health a new U01 Cooperative Agreement Grant to support research on the impact of diet and exercise for women suffering from ovarian cancer. Melinda Irwin, PhD, MPH, Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Epidemiology and Associate Dean for Research at the Yale School of Public Health, and Associate Director (Population Sciences) at Yale Cancer Center will lead the research project, “Trial of Exercise and Lifestyle (TEAL) in Women with Ovarian Cancer.” The grant funding will allow Dr. Irwin and his colleagues to investigate ways to improve treatment outcomes through diet and exercise in women newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer is the deadliest gynecological malignancy, with 90% of women diagnosed receiving chemotherapy. Prompt and successful completion of chemotherapy is critical, as delayed or reduced dose of chemotherapy for ovarian cancer is associated with decreased survival; yet, chemotherapy dose delays and dose reductions are common (~50% of ovarian cancer patients), with the primary reason for dose delays and reductions being chemotoxicity.

Tracy Crane, PhD, an associate professor in the University of Miami’s Department of Medicine, is the trial’s co-principal investigator. Together, Drs. Irwin and Crane will work in conjunction with Yale Cancer Center members Elena Ratner, MD, Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, Peter Schwartz, MD, John Slade Ely Professor Emeritus of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, Brenda Cartmel, PhD, Principal Investigator and Lecturer in Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases), Leah Ferrucci, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases), and Tara Sanft MD, Associate Professor of Medicine (Oncology Medical), to execute the project plan.

The study will enroll 200 women (100 non-Hispanic white and 100 Hispanic) newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer and will conduct an 18-week, multi-site randomized trial. The research team’s hypothesis is that exercise and a healthy diet will improve chemotherapy toxicity as well as treatment compliance and efficacy and, therefore, improve the prognosis of ovarian cancer. Registered Dietitians Maura Harrigan, MS, RDN, CSO and Courtney McGowan, RD, will be key to assist with dietary intervention, and Linda Gottlieb, MA, CPT, CET, will assist with exercise intervention.

Few studies have examined the role of lifestyle factors during cancer treatment and how lifestyle behaviors can improve treatment compliance, toxicity, and efficacy. “We hope the results of this study will help accelerate a paradigm shift where patients will receive regular nutrition and exercise programs as standard of care in tandem with their cancer treatment,” said Dr Irwin. . “I look forward to launching the TEAL study with my colleagues in the coming months.”

About Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital Yale Cancer Center (YCC) is one of 51 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers nationwide and the only such center in Connecticut. Cancer treatment for patients is available at Smilow Cancer Hospital through 13 multidisciplinary teams and at 15 Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Centers in Connecticut and Rhode Island. Comprehensive Cancer Centers play a vital role in advancing the NCI’s goal of reducing cancer morbidity and mortality through scientific research, cancer prevention, and innovative cancer treatment.

About Yale School of Public Health

Founded in 1915 as one of the first public health schools in the United States, the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) is consistently ranked among the top public health schools in the nation. A CEPH-certified school of public health, YSPH is at the forefront of advancing education, science, and public health for the 21st century. The school has a long history of leadership in the response to emerging infectious diseases: contributing to the development of a vaccine against poliomyelitis in the 1960s, the fight against arboviruses such as dengue fever in the 1980s, HIV/AIDS in the 1990s, the outbreaks of Ebola, Zika and more recently COVID-19[FEMININE[FEMININE

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