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SMARTphone-Based Cardiovascular Risk Reduction in BREAST Cancer Patients: A Multi-site Randomized Controlled Trial

Dr Alexandra Murphy, Institution: Institute for Breathing and Sleep

2020 Health Professional Scholarship

Years funded: 2021-2023


Cancer and heart disease are the leading causes of death in the developed world. There are a number of common risk factors, and as such a vast population are afflicted with both conditions.

It has been well established that co-morbid conditions which correspond with increased cardiovascular risk contribute importantly to both total mortality and breast cancer-specific mortality among breast cancer patients. Of all lifestyle factors which contribute to cardiovascular risk, physical activity has the most robust effect on breast cancer outcomes. Existing evidence strongly suggests that exercise is not only safe and feasible during cancer treatment but can also improve physical and psychological symptoms. To date, Victorian health serves have developed rehabilitation programs targeting patients with cancer which aim to address physical challenges that may arise during treatment. Although these programs exist, they are not suitable for all patients due to resource, geographic and social barriers. The incorporation of a SmartPhone-based exercise rehabilitation program which can be used anywhere, at any time, by anyone, has the potential to overcome these barriers.

The aim of this study is to establish the efficacy of a SmartPhone-based cardiovascular risk reduction program in patients undergoing treatment for breast cancer. This will be achieved by testing our personalized SmartPhone application (“app”) BreastMate, delivered over a 12-month period following diagnosis of breast cancer, as an adjunct to standard care in a multi-center randomized controlled trial.

The primary hypothesis is that our program will improve exercise capacity compared to standard care, as measured by improvement in the 6-minute walk test at 12 months. Secondary hypotheses include improvement in cardiac risk factor parameters including blood pressure, lipid profile, HbA1C and anthropometry, incidence of adverse events during treatment and overall successful completion of chemotherapy.

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