The findings were published in the May 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.
"We know that when people are diagnosed with cancer they're at risk for co-morbid conditions and functional decline, and those over 65 may become debilitated permanently, increasing health care costs and taking a toll on family members," said Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, M.D., Ph.D., a professor in M.D. Anderson's Department of Behavioral Science and senior investigator on this study.
Miriam Morey, Ph.D., a researcher in the Duke Center for Aging and at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and lead investigator on the study, said "our study showed that by reaching out to older cancer survivors in their homes and giving them tools to improve diet and exercise, we were able to reduce the rate of functional decline in this population."
The research team identified 641 study participants who were considered overweight or obese - having a body mass index of 25 or greater - and who had been diagnosed with breast, colorectal or prostate cancer but had been treated and had not experienced a recurrence for five years or more. The participants also had no medical conditions that would have prohibited moderate exercise.
A control group of 322 participants were told to go about their normal routines with no intervention, with the promise that they would receive access to the program one year later, Demark-Wahnefried said. The remaining 319 received 15 telephone counseling sessions with a personal trainer throughout the intervention year, and worked toward establishing several daily goals, including performing lower body strength exercises; walking 30 minutes; using portion-control plates, cups and bowls; consuming fewer than 10 percent of calories from saturated fat; and eating more fruits and vegetables.
Participants also received a personally-tailored workbook and a series of quarterly newsletters designed to help them maintain their exercise and diet routines.
"We found that the intervention group had higher levels of physical function, such as going up and down stairs, stepping on and off a stool, or running a short distance," said Morey.
The researchers used scoring systems to assess function that assign points based on participants' ability to perform such physical tasks, Morey said. Participants receive a score that ranges from zero to 100, with higher scores indicating better function.
Participants in the control arm had decreases in physical function of almost five points over the one-year study period, while those in the intervention group had declines that were only slightly over two points to a level that was not even clinically detectable, Morey said.
"In 2008, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services declared that research aimed at maintaining mobility and function in at-risk elders as the only aging priority," said Morey. "The wonderful thing about this intervention is that it would be accessible to anyone with a phone in an English-speaking country; our study participants were in Canada, the UK and in 21 of the United States. Participants did not have to join a gym or go anywhere; they received the intervention right where they live."
Co-authors with Morey and Demark-Wahnefried are; Denise Snyder, M.S., R.D., Richard Sloane, M.S., M.P.H., Harvey Jay Cohen, M.D., and Bercedis Peterson, Ph.D., of Duke; and Terryl Hartman, Ph.D., M.P.H., Paige Miller, M.S., and Diane Mitchell, M.S., R.D., of Pennsylvania State University.
About M. D. Anderson
The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston ranks as one of the world's most respected centers focused on cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. M. D. Anderson is one of only 40 comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute. For four of the past six years, including 2008, M. D. Anderson has ranked No. 1 in cancer care in "America's Best Hospitals," a survey published annually in U.S. News & World Report.
Lauren Shaftel Williams | EurekAlert!
Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University
The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy