TORONTO, March 3, 2014 /CNW/ - A Canadian-led groundbreaking study into
the prevention of colon cancer recurrence could potentially change the
way cancer is treated by adding exercise to standard treatments. But
more participants are needed.
During Colon Cancer Awareness Month in March, the Canadian Cancer
Society is encouraging colon cancer survivors to learn about the
CHALLENGE clinical trial and consider participating. Contact the
Society at 1 888 939-3333 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
"Is it possible that exercise can prevent cancer from recurring? That's
what we're hoping to discover in the CHALLENGE trial," says lead
researcher Dr Chris Booth, an oncologist at Kingston General Hospital
and associate professor at Queen's University. "This study has the
potential to improve both survival and quality of life for survivors of
colon cancer. It is an example of world-leading research that is funded
by the Canadian Cancer Society."
The CHALLENGE study, led by the NCIC Clinical Trials Group (CTG), is a
clinical trial that aims to enroll close to 1,000 high-risk colon
cancer survivors who have recently completed treatment with surgery and
chemotherapy. The participants will be divided at random into two
groups. Both groups will be monitored closely for cancer recurrence
with CT scans and surveillance colonoscopy and provided with health
In addition, the participants in one group will also work with a
physical activity consultant to design an exercise program, which could
include anything from walking on a treadmill to aerobics depending on
their fitness and interests. The goal is for the participants to
increase and maintain their level of activity by 150 minutes a week
from what they were doing before the study.
Patients in the other group can exercise if they wish but are not
provided with a physical activity consultant. Each participant will be
followed for three years to discover whether exercise boosts survival
"The CHALLENGE study is the first clinical trial in the world to test
whether exercise can improve survival in patients with cancer," says Dr
Booth. "If so, this knowledge could shift the way we treat cancer by
incorporating exercise into standard treatments. With few negative side
effects and many other health benefits, we think that structured
exercise programs would offer an important and cost-effective treatment
The clinical trial will also study whether exercise improves quality of
life for colon cancer survivors.
Colon cancer is the third most common cancer and the second leading
cause of cancer death in Canada. About 40% of patients with stage 3
colon cancer relapse and die from the disease.
"The Canadian Cancer Society's support of the CHALLENGE study is
essential," says Dr Sian Bevan, Director of Research, Canadian Cancer
Society. "It is challenging to secure corporate funding for a clinical
trial like this where there is no financial incentive. Thanks to our
donors, we are able to support this trial and others that answer
important questions about cancer treatment."
The Canadian Cancer Society provides support to the CHALLENGE study and
many other clinical trials through funding to the NCIC CTG, a world
leader in conducting cancer clinical trials. The Society invests $5.1
million in the NCIC CTG annually. Learn more about clinical trials at cancer.ca
CHALLENGE trial participant story
Patricia Bogstad is an 80-year-old Kingston resident who was diagnosed
with colon cancer in 2008. She completed surgery and chemotherapy
treatments in 2009 and has been participating in the CHALLENGE trial
As a participant, Bogstad has regular CT scans and colonoscopy. She also
works with a CHALLENGE study physiotherapist who designed an exercise
program for her.
"Participating in the clinical trial motivates me to continue with my
regular exercise routine and healthy living. It makes me more
accountable and more committed to living a balanced life," says
Bogstad. "I hope that the research will prove that regular exercise and
a balanced diet have tremendous health benefits, at any age. More
importantly, I hope that it will prove that fitness can help keep
About the CHALLENGE study
The trial recruited its first patient in 2009 and is global in scope,
drawing participants from 20 centres across Canada as well as 26 in
Australia and three in Israel.
In Ontario, the sites include cancer centres in Kingston, Ottawa,
London, Hamilton, St Catharines, Waterloo, Mississauga, Newmarket and
Currently, there are about 300 patients enrolled and the trial aims to
recruit 962 patients.
What can Canadians do to help?
Survivors interested in finding out more about the CHALLENGE clinical
trial should contact the Canadian Cancer Society at 1 888 939-3333 or email@example.com.
Support the Canadian Cancer Society. It's our donors that make it
possible to support world-class innovative research like the CHALLENGE
About the NCIC Clinical Trials Group
The NCIC Clinical Trials Group (NCIC CTG) is a cancer clinical trials
cooperative group that conducts Phase I-III trials testing anti-cancer
and supportive therapies across Canada and internationally. It is a
national research program of the Canadian Cancer Society. The NCIC
CTG's Central Operations and Statistics Office is located at Queen's
University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
About the Canadian Cancer Society
The Canadian Cancer Society is a national, community-based organization
of volunteers whose mission is to eradicate cancer and enhance the
quality of life of people living with cancer. Thanks to our donors and
volunteers, the Society has the most impact, against the most cancers,
in the most communities in Canada. Building on our progress, we are
working with Canadians to change cancer forever. For more information,
visit cancer.ca or call our toll-free bilingual Cancer Information Service at
1-888-939-3333 (TTY 1-866-786-3934).
SOURCE: Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division)
For further information:
Note: Video footage and photos will be available this afternoon.
Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division
Sasha Anopina, Bilingual Specialist
Canadian Cancer Society (National)