Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 132, Issue 1, pp 205–213 | Cite as

Impact of a telephone-based physical activity intervention upon exercise behaviors and fitness in cancer survivors enrolled in a cooperative group setting

  • Jennifer A. Ligibel
  • Jeffrey Meyerhardt
  • John P. Pierce
  • Julie Najita
  • Laura Shockro
  • Nancy Campbell
  • Vicky A. Newman
  • Leslie Barbier
  • Eileen Hacker
  • Marie Wood
  • James Marshall
  • Electra Paskett
  • Charles Shapiro
Clinical trial


Observational studies demonstrate an association between physical activity and improved outcomes in breast and colon cancer survivors. To test these observations with a large, randomized clinical trial, an intervention that significantly impacts physical activity in these patients is needed. The Active After Cancer Trial (AACT) was a multicenter pilot study evaluating the feasibility of a telephone-based exercise intervention in a cooperative group setting. Sedentary (engaging in <60 min of recreational activity/week) breast and colorectal cancer survivors were randomized to a telephone-based exercise intervention or usual care control group. The intervention was delivered through the University of California at San Diego; participants received ten phone calls over the course of the 16-week intervention. All participants underwent assessment of physical activity, fitness, physical functioning, fatigue and exercise self-efficacy at baseline and after the 16-week intervention. One hundred and twenty-one patients were enrolled through ten Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) institutions; 100 patients had breast cancer and 21 had colorectal cancer. Participants randomized to the exercise group increased physical activity by more than 100 versus 22% in controls (54.5 vs. 14.6 min, P = 0.13), and experienced significant increases in fitness (increased 6-min walk test distance by 186.9 vs. 81.9 feet, P = 0.006) and physical functioning (7.1 vs. 2.6, P = 0.04) as compared to the control group. Breast and colorectal cancer survivors enrolled in a multicenter, telephone-based physical activity intervention increased physical activity and experienced significant improvements in fitness and physical functioning. Lifestyle intervention research is feasible in a cooperative group setting.


Breast cancer Exercise Cooperative group Intervention Physical functioning 



This work was supported by a Cancer and Leukemia Group B Pilot Prevention Grant and by the Gloria Spivak Faculty Support Fund at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer A. Ligibel
    • 1
  • Jeffrey Meyerhardt
    • 1
  • John P. Pierce
    • 2
  • Julie Najita
    • 1
  • Laura Shockro
    • 1
  • Nancy Campbell
    • 1
  • Vicky A. Newman
    • 2
  • Leslie Barbier
    • 2
  • Eileen Hacker
    • 3
  • Marie Wood
    • 4
  • James Marshall
    • 5
  • Electra Paskett
    • 6
  • Charles Shapiro
    • 6
  1. 1.Dana-Farber Cancer InstituteBostonUSA
  2. 2.Moores University of California at San Diego Cancer CenterSan DiegoUSA
  3. 3.University of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  4. 4.University of VermontBurlingtonUSA
  5. 5.Roswell Park Cancer InstituteBuffaloUSA
  6. 6.James Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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