With grants totalling more than DKK 10 mill. (EUR 1.3 mill.), TrygFonden’s Centre for Physical Activity Research at Rigshospitalet can now examine whether targeted physical training can help cancer patients through major surgery.
- Our principal idea is that physical training can be incorporated as a sort of pre-treatment before cancer surgery. We know from basic research and animal experiments that physiological changes take place in the body during training and physical exercise, and it is likely that these will influence the development of cancer cells and could possibly improve patients’ tolerance to chemotherapy and surgery,” said Jesper Frank Christensen
- Now we can investigate physical training as a treatment strategy for these cancer patients in a number of extensive clinical trials in which we will compare the effect of the treatment with any risk of unintended outcomes,” said Jesper Frank Christensen.
Lower risk of relapse
- TrygFonden aims to help more people in Denmark to live a long life with the best possible quality of life and with as little physical and psychological discomfort as possible. The project is about whether physical training before an operation for cancer of the oesophagus and stomach can improve patients’ chances of getting through their operation with fewest possible complications, and can generally increase their chances of survival, and it is very exciting. Thorough preliminary work has already been done, and the team behind the project has considerable experience with municipal collaboration. If the project shows positive results, it will make a big difference for a vulnerable group of patients and their families,” said Anders Hede, Head of Research at TrygFonden
One of the first in the world
- There is currently not enough evidence to give recommendations to cancer survivors on how to improve their survival after a cancer diagnosis. Dr Christensen’s project will be one of the first studies in the world to explore the effects of exercise training before cancer surgery in patients undergoing chemotherapy, so we are very excited to be funding it. It is invaluable research as it could potentially improve long-term survival of patients with oesophagus or stomach cancer.
Jesper Frank Christensen has also been told that, via its annual national Knæk Cancer campaign, the Danish Cancer Society will grant DKK 2.5 mill. to the CFAS clinical cancer programme. This grant will be used to examine whether patients with cancer of the large intestine and liver metastases can reduce their risk of relapse and improve their condition if they perform physical training before or after surgery for liver metastases. However, the grant depends on the outcome of the Knæk Cancer campaign in autumn 2019.
Collaboration with municipalities
- A large part of the success of our studies depends on us being able to have a formalised collaboration with local centres in municipalities. At the moment, training programmes offered to patients by municipalities are very different. By formalising the collaboration, we can ensure that all citizens and patients across all centres and municipalities complete the same training programme when they participate in our projects,” said Jesper Frank Christensen.