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Approved research

Impact of physical fitness and physical activity on cardiovascular health in prevalent and incident breast, prostate, lung, & colorectal cancer participants of the UKbiobank study.

Principal Investigator: Professor Fergal Grace
Approved Research ID: 50379
Approval date: April 20th 2020

Lay summary

Cancer is a leading cause of death and poor quality of life worldwide and accounts for over one-quarter of UK mortality. There is an emerging body of evidence linking physical fitness and habitual physical activity with the risk of developing different cancer types. Previous research have used either small participant numbers in laboratory conditions or large large participant numbers who self-report their physical activity regimens. Both avenues have elements of bias that limit the broad use of their study findings. The UKbiobank sample allows us to examine the prevalence and incidence of breast, prostate, colorectal and lung cancer within the evolved dataset with detailed clinical information. This allows us to mitigate the limitations of previous research. We will leverage existing accelerometery and fitness test data to examine the impact of cardiorespiratory fitness and intensity of habitual physical exercise within four of the most frequent serious cancer diagnoses. In a project lasting 36 months, we will use both prevalent (previous) and incident (diagnoses since enrolment) cancers. Using standard statistical techniques, accounting for known cancer related factors, we will also stratify the impact of low, moderate and vigorous habitual physical activity on subsequent health-related cancer outcomes (including mortality). This information will generate new information that contributes to the advancement of knowledge in non-pharmacological cancer treatment that is likely to be used in public health, clinical oncology and exercise programming for cancer patients. In alignment of the strategic aims of UKBiobank, we set out to contribute improve the prevention, and treatment of cancer. This study aligns with UK Biobank's objective of improving the treatment of serious and life-threatening illnesses. National statistics both in the UK and Australia show that cancer incidence is continuing to increase. Therefore, non-pharmacological strategies that improve cancer outcomes are an important adjunct to normal treatment. The findings from this study will be published in open access academic journals for the benefit of stakeholders in cancer care, including clinical oncology, public health, exercise prescription. Further, and generate new knowledge in exercise prescription for cancer prevention and best practice care of cancer patients.