Category - Gynaecological Cancer

Exercise during CHemotherapy for Ovarian cancer – The ECHO trial

Ovarian cancer is the most common cause of gynaecological cancer death in Australian women, with an overall 5-year survival rate of only 44%, compared to a 5-year survival rate of 99% in women with localised breast cancer. Symptoms of ovarian cancer and side-effects from treatment can negatively impact a woman’s physical wellbeing and quality of life, with treatment typically involving extensive abdominal surgery and intense chemotherapy.

There are several position stands endorsed by national and international organisations (e.g. Clinical Oncology Society of Australia, Exercise and Sports Science Australia, American College of Sports Medicine) which outline the value of physical activity and exercise during and following cancer treatment. It has been shown in cancer populations, such as breast and prostate, that exercise during chemotherapy treatment can improve physical wellbeing and quality of life, as well as reducing the number and severity of side effects (e.g. pain and fatigue). It is hypothesised that exercise may also help women with ovarian cancer to better tolerate full chemotherapy doses (leading to improved survival) by lessening the severity of treatment-related side-effects and reducing treatment toxicity. Read more >

“Exercise in Cancer Care” – COSA position stand

The Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) position stand on “Exercise in Cancer Care” was released in May this year, followed by an article promoting exercise and cancer titled “Tough love and hard exercise for people with cancer”, published in the May edition of the Exercise and Sports Science Australia MOVE magazine.

This represents an exciting move forwards in integrating exercise into cancer care and is generating the much needed discussions about what represents optimal patient care and what needs to be done to make this happen. Right now, we have sufficient evidence to support the integration of physical activity including planned exercise into standard cancer care. Exercise science in oncology strongly supports the notion that doing something is better than nothing, and more is generally better than less. While not all cancer types have been included in the more than 500 clinical trials that have evaluated the effect of exercise following a diagnosis, the theoretical underpinning, as well as consistency of findings across the cancer types that have been studied indicate this message will be relevant for the majority of those diagnosed with cancer. However, what represents the optimal exercise prescription and for who, remains unclear. Read more >

Less invasive treatments for endometrial cancer patients

Endometrial cancer is the most common gynaecological cancer in Australia. Endometrial cancer develops in the lining of the uterus and rates of this cancer are increasing, particularly in women under 40 years of age who are overweight or obese.

Endometrial cancer caught early is very curable. The current standard treatment is surgery (a total hysterectomy), however this results in young women losing their fertility. The feMMe trial aims to treat endometrial cancer less invasively through using a Mirena and metformin. A Mirena is an intra-uterine device commonly used as a contraceptive (the IUD) and metformin is an anti-diabetes drug which has been found to be a potentially powerful anti-cancer drug. In addition, the study will also assess the effect of a weight loss program on early stage endometrial cancer patients. QUT’s Improving Health Outcomes for People Professor Monika Janda is leading the lifestyle component of the feMMe trial. Read more >

Lymphedema following gynaecological cancer

Cancer-related lymphedema is a debilitating condition that adversely influences quality of life. Lymphoedema is a potential problematic complication following treatment for cancer and is the accumulation of excessive amounts of fluid resulting in swelling, most commonly in the arms or legs, but can also occur in other parts of the body.

Findings from the LEGS study (Lymphedema Evaluation in Gynaecological Cancer tudy) indicate Lymphedema after gynecological cancer is a common survivorship concern. A clinic-based sample of women (n=408) with gynecological cancer and lymphedema in one or both legs participated in the study. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence, incidence, and risk factors of lower-limb lymphedema. Improving Health Outcomes for People researcher Prof Sandi Hayes is the lead author of the study published in Gynecologic Oncology. Fifty per cent of women show evidence of lymphedema within 2 years post-gynaecological cancer. Read more >

Fundraiser for Cherish

QUT Improving Health Outcomes for People is a proud support of the Cherish Women’s Cancer Foundation. Cherish funds clinical research that results in better treatments for gynaecological cancer patients.

Cherish is hosting its annual Battle. The Battle is a beach volleyball tournament aiming to raise money for much needed research into gynaecological cancer. The Battle will be held in Brisbane on Friday 17th March 2017. Read more >

The Implementation of Minimally Invasive Hysterectomy: The Imagine trial

The Imagine trial aims to implement and evaluate an innovative training and mentoring program for surgeons who perform laparoscopic (keyhole) hysterectomy. Hysterectomy is the surgical procedure to remove the uterus.

Hysterectomy is the most commonly performed major gynaecological procedure in women. Approximately 30,000 hysterectomies are performed in Australia each year. Hysterectomy can be performed for a number of reasons such as uterine fibroids, pelvic masses, endometriosis/adenomyosis and cancer. Read more >

World Cancer Research Fund grant: The ECHO trial

Prof Sandi Hayes, is excited to announce ihop’s current ECHO trial has received funding from the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) International for further expansion. The ECHO trial evaluates the effects of an exercise intervention during first-line chemotherapy for ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer is the most common cause of gynaecological cancer death, with an overall 5-year relative survival of only 43%.  Treatment for ovarian cancer typically involves extensive surgery and high-dose chemotherapy with adverse side effects impacting physical wellbeing, function and quality of life. Read more >