UF researcher receives grant to study exercise regimens after breast cancer treatment

Demetra Christou, Ph.D., an associate professor in the department of applied physiology & kinesiology in the UF College of Health & Human Performance, has received a two-year $419,000 grant from the National Institute on Aging to investigate the effectiveness of two exercise regimens in reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease in breast cancer survivors.

Demetra Christou, Ph.D.

Aging is a major risk factor for breast cancer, and 80% of breast cancer cases are diagnosed after age 50. Breast cancer survivors are at increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease.

Aerobic exercise is recommended to prevent cardiovascular disease, but there is limited evidence on the best type of exercise in breast cancer survivors.

In the new study, Christou’s team will conduct a randomized controlled trial in breast cancer survivors to compare the cardiovascular effects of two exercise regimens: one involving high-intensity interval training and one involving moderate-intensity continuous training.

“We are very excited to conduct this study because our findings will lay the foundation for designing a full-scale clinical trial to build evidence for optimizing exercise prescription for cardiovascular disease prevention in breast cancer survivors,” Christou said.

Christou, a member of the UF Health Cancer Center’s Cancer Control & Population Sciences research program, is collaborating on the new project with Karen Daily, D.O., an associate professor in the division of hematology and oncology; Eileen Handberg, Ph.D., ARNP, a professor in the division of cardiovascular medicine; Danielle Jake-Schoffman, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the department of health education & behavior; Ji-Hyun Lee, DrPH, a professor in the department of biostatistics and director of the Division of Quantitative Sciences at the UF Health Cancer Center; and Carl Pepine, M.D., a professor in the division of cardiovascular medicine.

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