Research Update

Breast Cancer and Exercise

From time to time, we’ll bring you updates on some of the research that’s under way thanks to BRIGHT Run funding.

Here’s an update from Dr. Jenna Smith about a project titled: “Evaluation of a Novel Strategy to Implement Exercise Evidence into Clinical Practice in Breast Cancer Care: The NEXT-BRCA Trial”


Recruitment for our trial, which looks to evaluate the effectiveness of moderate-intensity exercise and self-management education during treatment for individuals with breast cancer, is more than halfway complete. After a short pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our research team and study participants are back at it!

The time to start exercising is now! We know that exercise is beneficial for cancer survivors, but also that only a small proportion of cancer survivors exercise during treatment. This lack of activity and exercise was heightened during the pandemic. This project aims to provide survivors with the knowledge and resources to make exercise a part of their daily lives.

Study Updates:

  • Our self-management group has gone fully virtual! Participants randomized to this group now meet with an exercise trainer virtually, via zoom, to review modules and set goals and action plans related to exercise. Our exercise group is still meeting in person with trainers at the JCC.
  • We have just expanded our eligibility criteria to include breast cancer survivors on any form of treatment (not just chemotherapy!); this will allow more survivors to join our study and our team to determine if outcomes differ by the type of treatment survivors are receiving
  • Fitbits! Don’t forget all participants who enter the trial receive a Fitbit Inspire, which they can keep after the study is complete.

Participant Feedback:

While no official analysis of our data has occurred from this study’s trial, participants in our intervention groups have provided valuable feedback to the team. They have said the information provided has increased their confidence to participate in exercise during and after treatment, kept them moving during chemotherapy, and helped increase their energy and ability to function at home during treatment. We look forward to looking at this data in more detail over the next few months.

We are always looking for more participants. If you are interested in getting involved in this project, email Jenna at: