Unravelling the causes of persistent exercise intolerance in cancer survivors

Research Opportunity
Honours students
Number of Honour Places Available
1
Department / Centre
Baker Department of Cardiometabolic Health
Location
Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Steve Foulkes steve.foulkes@baker.edu.au 0385321817
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Nicholas Saner nicholas.saner@baker.edu.au 0385321313
Dr Erin Howden erin.howden@baker.edu.au 0385321861

Summary Persistent exercise intolerance is a common side effect experienced by cancer survivors treated with chemotherapy, and may predispose cancer survivors to cardiovascular disease and poor quality of life. This project aims to utilise novel imaging techniques (MRI, ultrasound, DEXA) to understand the causes of exercise intolerance in cancer survivors previously treated with chemotherapy.

Project Details

Improvements in cancer survival mean that the long term health of cancer survivors are largely dictated by the persistent side effects of their treatment. Approximately 33-50% of cancer survivors treated with anthracycline-based chemotherapy have exercise intolerance that persists well beyond the completion of treatment - measured as a volume of oxygen consumption at peak exercise (VO2peak) that is markedly below normal values (<85% of predicted). This is important, as VO2peak is a strong predictor of cardiovascular disease, reduced ability to complete activities of daily living, and premature mortality. Improving our understanding of the causes of persistent exercise intolerance following anthracycline chemotherapy will aid the development of targeted interventions that can better address and prevent these effects.

This project aims to understand the associations of cardiac, vascular and skeletal muscle factors to reduced VO2peak in breast and haematologic cancer survivors previously treated with anthracycline-based chemotherapy. This project will utilise multi-modality imaging techniques, including magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry to assess standard and novel indices of cardiac, vascular and skeletal muscle structure and function, and assess their associations with reduced VO2peak.



Faculty Research Themes

School Research Themes

Cancer in Medicine, Cardiometabolic



Research Opportunities

Honours students
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department / Centre

Baker Department of Cardiometabolic Health

Research Node

Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute

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