Could slimming down be the key to keeping breast cancer from returning? That’s the question researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute are hoping to answer at the end of a recently announced, 6-year study. And they’ll be using Fitbit trackers to help participants track their progress and reach their weight loss goals.
The Breast Cancer Weight Loss (BWEL) study, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, will enroll nearly 3,200 overweight and obese women with early stage breast cancer to see if losing weight can help prevent it from returning. “The increased risk of cancer recurrence linked to excess body weight threatens to limit our progress in treating breast cancer and preventing women from dying from this disease,” says Jennifer Ligibel, MD, a breast oncologist in the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber, and lead investigator of the BWEL trial. “If this study shows that losing weight through increasing physical activity and reducing calories improves survival rates in breast cancer, this could lead to weight loss and physical activity becoming a standard part of the treatment for millions of breast cancer patients around the world.”
Each participant will receive a Fitbit Charge HR™ fitness tracker, which delivers all-day activity tracking and continuous, wrist-based heart rate tracking, as well as a Fitbit Aria® Wi-Fi Smart Scale to track weight, BMI, lean mass, and body fat percentage. “We’re honored that researchers have chosen to use Fitbit devices for this much-needed research,” says Woody Scal, chief business officer of Fitbit. “We hear stories every day about how our products have helped motivate people to be more proactive with their health by being more active, eating smarter, sleeping better, and managing their weight—all of which are so important in preventive health.”
To further support their weight loss goals, women in the study will also have access to FitStar™ by Fitbit premium software, which offers personalized video-based exercise experiences on mobile devices.
The ongoing study is scheduled to last for 6 years, and researchers will begin enrolling volunteer participants on August 1, 2016.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.