UA Cancer Center Leads Healthy Lifestyle, Ovarian Cancer Study

Diet and nutrition and physical activity are important elements of cancer prevention, UA doctors say.
Sept. 24, 2012
Extra Info: 

The University of Arizona Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center headquartered in Arizona. With primary locations at the UA in Tucson and at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, the cancer center has more than a dozen research and education offices in Phoenix and throughout the state and 300 physician and scientist members work together to prevent and cure cancer.

The University of Arizona Cancer Center, or UACC, is leading the first large nationwide study to determine how diet and physical activity together can improve the quality of life and prevent recurrence for women who are in clinical complete remission from advanced ovarian peritoneal or tubal cancer.

LIvES (Lifestyle Intervention for Ovarian Cancer Enhanced Survival) will involve 1,070 recent stage II-IV ovarian, primary peritoneal and fallopian tube cancer survivors from Gynecologic Oncology Group, or GOG, clinics across the United States. The GOG is one of nine National Cancer Institute-sponsored clinical trial cooperative oncology groups.

“This trial fills a huge gap concerning what women can do to stay healthy and free of ovarian cancer after chemotherapy successfully has been completed,” said Dr. David S. Alberts, UACC director and co-chair of the LIvES study.

The UA Cancer Center is responsible for all diet and physical activity telephone/Web-based coaching to be delivered to LIvES study participants. The study potentially could involve ovarian cancer survivors from 150 ovarian cancer treatment centers. Cancer survivors must be referred to the study by their physicians. See a list of trial sites online.

Researchers will use an innovative combination of telephone and Web-based coaching software designed by UA’s Arizona Research Laboratories in partnership with the UA Cancer Center and the Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health specifically for this study. Each woman accepted for the study will be randomly assigned to either the intervention or usual care group. Both groups will receive telephone-based coaching.

Study participants will be contacted by the UACC coaches a minimum of 22 times over the two-year study period. Participants will be asked to fill out questionnaires regarding their diet, physical activity, other lifestyle and health issues, and overall quality of life. Blood samples will be collected.

Alberts, in collaboration with Cynthia Thomson, has advocated the benefits of diet and nutrition and physical activity as an important element of cancer prevention. “Few trials have been conducted combining diet and physical activity, though growing epidemiologic and clinical evidence suggests both may play an integral role in ovarian cancer,” he said.

Thomson, study co-chair, is a long-time member of the UACC’s Cancer Prevention and Control Program and a professor in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the UA where she serves as director of the Canyon Ranch Center for Prevention and Health Promotion.

This year alone, 22,430 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the U.S.; one in 70 U.S. women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in her lifetime, said Alberts, whose research for more than 35 years has involved innovative treatments for advanced ovarian cancers.

The LIvES Study is supported by grant number CA101165 from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health, with additional multi-year funding from the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and Up the Volume Foundation.