The Exercise Oncology Lab (EOL) is dedicated exclusively on developing, assessing, and evaluating exercise studies in cancer survivors. It is a multi-purpose laboratory allowing the space to be transformed for a variety of intervention modalities (e.g., distance-based, supervised), and physical function and exercise testing.
Mission: to promote physical activity as an essential component in cancer control and survivorship.
We focus on a variety of research questions including:
- Can exercise help manage treatment-related side effects?
- What is the role of exercise for cognitive functioning?
- What is the optimal exercise program for benefits?
- How do we maintain exercise levels throughout the cancer care continuum?
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the feasibility of delivering a supervised PA program plus standard exercise counseling (SPA+EC) versus a supervised physical activity plus motivationally-enhanced behavioral counseling (SPA+BC) in prostate cancer survivors. This study will pilot a two-armed, single blind, randomized controlled trial (RCT) comparing SPA+EC to SPA+BC. The goal of both arms of the intervention is to gradually increase PA to a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity per week. Prostate cancer survivors in both arms will be provided with 12 individual supervised PA sessions over a 6-week period with a physical activity specialist that tapers to an unsupervised home-based program for 6 weeks after the intervention. The supervised sessions will include both aerobic physical activity and resistance training. Following these sessions, the SPA+EC will receive standard exercise counseling, while the SPA+BC group will receive behavioral counseling sessions based on behavior change techniques with a physical activity specialist. The primary outcome will be objectively-assessed physical activity.
The primary objective of this study is to explore and identify the interest and preferences of exercise counseling and programming among survivors of liver cancer. The secondary aim is to investigate the prevalence of physical activity levels in liver cancer survivors. This research will inform future physical activity interventions by providing information on specific ways to tailor physical activity programs to this populations’ preferences. This may improve recruitment and adherence to physical activity so that liver cancer survivors may accrue health benefits from exercise.
Accelerometers have been established as a valid measure of overall or lifestyle physical activity in cancer survivors, including breast cancer survivors. To date, researchers have not examined the validity of accelerometer count ranges or cut-points associated with different intensities or metabolic equivalents of physical activity in cancer survivors. The proposed research involves the following: a) examination of accelerometer cut-points that define light, moderate, and vigorous intensity physical activity in breast cancer survivors; b) investigation of possible differences in cut-points between breast cancer survivors and an apparently healthy age-matched control sample; c) examination of the accuracy of both accelerometers and inclinometers in various sedentary behaviors such as sitting, lying, and standing in this population; and d) validation of devices to assess sedentary behavior and physical activity in free-living conditions.
This study has been completed and enrollment is currently closed.
The EOL is dedicated exclusively to developing, assessing, and evaluating exercise studies in cancer survivors. It is a multi-purpose laboratory allowing the space to be transformed for data collection, intervention delivery (e.g., behavioral counseling and stretching/toning), and physical function and exercise testing. It houses a variety of the latest exercise equipment including Gymsticks,TM free weights, exercise balls, and exercise mats. Separate stations for assessing individual functional performance measures employed in the Senior Fitness Test. OtThe EOL is equipped with objective measures of physical activity and sedentary behavior including Actigraph accelerometers (Model # GT3X+), ActivPAL inclinometers, and Yamax Digiwalker pedometers. In addition, the EOL has access to fully integrated Trackmaster treadmills, digital Cardio Control EKG systems, and True One 2400 metabolic measurement systems for graded exercise testing.
News & Events
Denise Bastas (undergraduate student) presents her research presentation on ‘Physical Activity Attitudes and Counselling Practices in Oncology Healthcare Providers Working with Kidney Cancer Survivors’ at the Eastern Canada Sport and Exercise Psychology Symposium Annual Meeting in March 2019 in Vaughan, Ontario.
Alexis Whitehorn (MSc. candidate) presents her research poster on ‘Motivational Outcomes of a Community-Based Program to Increase Physical Activity in Breast Cancer Survivors’ at the Society of Behavioral Medicine's 40th Annual Meeting in March 2019 in Washington, D.C.
Ally Tabaczynski (MSc. candidate) presents her research poster on ‘Demographic, Medical, Social-cognitive, and Environmental Correlates of Meeting Strength Training Guidelines in Kidney Cancer Survivors’ at the Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psychology Annual Conference in October 2018 in Toronto, Ontario.
Ally Tabaczynski (MSc. candidate) presents her research poster on ‘Reallocation of Time Spent in Sleep, Activity and Sedentary Behaviour: Associations on Quality of Life in Kidney Cancer Survivors’ at the Society of Behavioral Medicine's 39th Annual Meeting in April in New Orleans, LA.
Resources for Cancer Survivors
These resources may be helpful if you are a cancer survivor and/or caregiver. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle through exercise and good nutrition is an important step in the journey to recovery.
Get Active, Sit Less! Exercise Guidebook for Kidney Cancer Survivors© in PDF format. This guide book is designed to help kidney cancer survivors increase their physical activity and reduce their sitting time. Download document with this link: Kidney Cancer Guidebook (English) or Kidney Cancer Guidebook (French)
Researchers and practitioners wishing to use this guidebook for research or practice-related purposes, please contact Dr. Linda Trinh: firstname.lastname@example.org
There is no need to contact Dr. Trinh if you are downloading the book for your personal use.
The EOL is currently recruiting highly motivated graduate students at the MSc and PhD level. Please contact Dr. Linda Trinh (email@example.com) with a CV and cover letter outlining your research interests in exercise oncology.
Want to hear about a day in the life at the EOL? Read an excerpt by one of the undergraduate students in our lab here.
The Exercise Oncology Laboratory (EOL) is located in the Clara Benson Building at the University of Toronto.
55 Harbord Street, Toronto ON
Office: BN 231A
Ally Tabaczynski is a first year Masters student working in the Exercise Oncology lab at the University of Toronto. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from University of Rhode Island. She is interested in researching the effects of physical activity on surgical outcomes in endometrial cancer survivors. Ally hopes to pursue a career in academia and continue to contribute to the field of exercise oncology research.
Alexis Whitehorn graduated from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology in 2018. She is currently working in the Exercise Oncology Lab as a first year Masters student at the University of Toronto. Her research interest involves home-based functional fitness testing with cancer survivors. Alexis is committed to one day owning her own personal training studio. She plans to motivate clients to become physically active and maintain a healthier lifestyle.
Denise is a first-year master's student. She graduated with a Bachelor of Kinesiology from the University of Toronto. She is interested in the field of exercise oncology as she believes it has the potential to have significant impacts on the lives and functioning of cancer survivors and believes it should be incorporated as an integral part of cancer care and treatment. She is particularly interested in increasing healthcare professionals' role in counselling physical activity to cancer survivors.
Alyssa Neville is a first-year master’s student working in the Exercise Oncology Lab at the University of Toronto. She graduated from Dalhousie University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and spent the last two years working on various research studies at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto. She is interested in the effect of exercise, in particular yoga, on cognitive outcomes in cancer patients and survivors. In the future, Alyssa hopes to combine her passion for research and healthcare and advocate for exercise interventions as an important part of cancer treatment.
Lauren Voss is a Research Assistant working in the Exercise Oncology lab at the University of Toronto. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Health Physiology from the University of Calgary and completed her Master of Science in Kinesiology and the University of Lethbridge. Lauren is also a CSEP-certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist. She is interested developing interventions to reduce sedentary behaviour to improve physical function and quality of life outcomes among cancer survivors. She hopes to join the lab as a PhD student in Fall 2021.
Natalie is a fourth-year undergraduate student in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education. Her research interests in the include understanding the long-term implications of integrating physical activity into the treatment plans of both cancer patients and survivors. Natalie hopes to get a more in-depth understanding of the exercise oncology field and how both physical and mental health, quality of life and treatment outcomes can be optimized through exercise.
Golnaz Ghazinour is a fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto studying Kinesiology. She is interested in clinical research in the exercise oncology field, particularly focused on the effects of exercise on physical and mental well-being among cancer survivors. Golnaz believes the exercise oncology provides a great opportunity to pursue her interests in physical activity, oncology, and clinical research.
University of Toronto alumni
Shumeng Duan, BKin (2019-2020)
Cherry Manzano, BKin (2019-2020)
Princess Ulona, BKin (2018-2019)
Marlena Petrakis, BKin (2018-2019)
University of Illinois Graduate AlumnI
Dominick Strom, MSc (2017-2018)
Jaime Wong, MSc (2016-2018)
University of Illinois underGraduate AlumnI
Joshua Lee, BSc (Winter 2018)
Ashley Raehsler, BSc (Winter 2018)
Marianna Zalova, BSc (Winter 2018)
Maddie Forouhi, BSc (2017-2018)
Madeline Gagnon, BSc (2017-2018)
Sophia Kim, BSc (2017-2018)
Jacqueline Surd, BSc (2017-2018)
Samantha Gibbons, BSc (2015-2018)
Waleed Aldadah, BSc (2016-2017)
Adrian Tellez, BSc (2016-2017)
Michelle Wilson, BSc (2016-2017)