The role of exercise in cancer treatment and survival

Thursday 5 December, 2013

This year the Clinical Network Annual Symposium focused on the topic of exercise and cancer, with four presentations covering the increasing role of exercise in cancer treatment and support, what research is occurring internationally and Australia-wide, and how local organisations are integrating exercise modalities into their services.

The Symposium was held at the State Library of Victoria on November 20 and facilitated by A/Prof Michael Jefford, our Senior Clinical Consultant. We had an overwhelming response, with over 200 registrations.

We were privlidged to host the following experts:

Keynote Speaker: Dr Lee Jones
Scientific Director of Cancer Survivorship, Duke Cancer Institute, North Carolina
"Examining the Effects of Exercise as a Treatment for Cancer: A Translational Approach."

Dr. Lee W. Jones is an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology and Scientific Director of Cancer Survivorship at Duke Cancer Institute. Dr. Jones completed his Postdoctoral Fellowship in Exercise Oncology also at the University of Alberta. Dr. Jones was recruited to Duke Medicine in January 2005. Dr. Jones's research program focuses on a translational approach to: (1) evaluate the cardiovascular / functional impact of cancer therapy, and efficacy of defined exercise training to prevent and/or treat dysfunction, and (2) elucidate the effects, and underlying systemic and molecular mechanisms, of defined aerobic training on tumour progression and metastatic dissemination. He has published numerous scientific articles and book chapters. He is also a member of the International Editorial Board for Lancet Oncology. His research program is supported by the National Institutes of Health, American Cancer Society, and U.S. Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program.

Lee Jones 

A/Prof Linda Denehy
Head of Physiotherapy, University of Melbourne
Topic: "Physical Function in Individuals with Lung Cancer: A Need for Increased Exercise Participation"

Watch Linda's presentation

Linda is a PhD qualified physiotherapists who is head of physiotherapy at the University of Melbourne and before working in academia was a clinician in cardiorespiratory physiotherapy at Austin Health and Brompton Hospital London. Her research interests are rehabilitation in and after intensive care admission and oncology, particularly lung cancer. Linda has supervised 25 research higher degree students to completion, has had over six million dollars in grants to support research and has published 90 journal papers and book chapters.

A/Prof Bernhard Riedel
Director, Anaesthesia & Intensive Care, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Topic: "Exercise is Medicine: Prehab - the best Premed!"

Bernhard Riedel is an academic anaesthetist with a special interest in oncologic and cardiothoracic anaesthesia.
He currently serves as Head of the Department of Cancer Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine, at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and holds an academic appointment as Associate Professor with the University of Melbourne. As an academic anaesthesiologist Bernhard has published extensively (>100 publications), is the recipient of numerous research grants (>$2M) and the recipient of numerous awards, including four prizes awarded to his research group at international scientific meetings.

Watch Bernhard's presentation

A/Prof Janette Vardy
Medical Oncologist and Clinical Researcher, Sydney Cancer Centre, and Principal Research Fellow, University of NSW
Topic: "Physical Activity for Cancer Survivors: Studies in Australia"


Associate Professor Janette Vardy is a medical oncologist working as a clinician researcher at the Concord Cancer Centre, University of Sydney. After completing a Clinical Research Fellowship at the Princess Margaret Hospital and a PhD in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr Ian Tannock, she returned to Australia in 2007 and together with Dr Haryana Dhillon established the Survivorship Research Group (SuRG). Her main areas of research are Psycho-Oncology, Quality of life and Survivorship, with a particular interest in cognitive function and physical activity in cancer survivors.

Watch Janette's presentation


Panel discussion

Michael Jefford

 Crowd at Symposium