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Canada Research Chair renewal for Kerry Courneya
Date:10/25/2011

Over the past decade the correlations between physical activity and cancer prevention, treatment recovery and survivorship have become increasing clearer: exercise is, without dispute, a key component in the treatment of a disease that claims up to 10 million lives globally each year, according to the American Cancer Society's Global Facts and Figures.

Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Physical Activity and Cancer, Dr. Kerry Courneya, is one of the pioneering minds in this burgeoning field. With the recent federal announcement of new and renewed CRCs, Courneya, whose Tier 1CRC was renewed for a further seven years, says it's a not only welcome recognition of his work at the national and international level, but a welcome boost for his Behavioural Medicine Lab and the large scale projects he currently has underway.

"The greatest benefit of the CRC is the protected research time," says Courneya, "and that enables me to do and this is an expectation of the CRC program higher-profile, larger scale, projects that will have an impact on both the field and practice. I call these the 'marquee' projects."

Several of these marquee projects are currently underway, including the CARE trial, an exercise intervention in breast cancer patients going onto chemotherapy. "We've accrued 301women into this trial," says Courneya. Working with cancer centres in Vancouver and Ottawa, Courneya is looking at the effectiveness of aerobic versus resistance training in women with breast cancer.

A second large-scale trial, the CHALLENGE trial, is a multi-national trial involving participants in Canada and Australia and co-led by Courneya, that "is looking at an exercise intervention in colon cancer survivors with disease-free survival or recurrence as the primary end point," he explains.

"To the best of our knowledge this is the first study looking at whether exercise can reduce the risk of the disease coming back in any cancer survivor group.
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Contact: Jane Hurly
jane.hurly@ualberta.ca
780-492-6821
University of Alberta - Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation
Source:Eurekalert

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