Exercise: A Non-Pharmaceutical “Drug” To Reduce Heart Disease in Breast Cancer Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Christina M. Dieli-Conwright, PhD, MPH, FACSM, CSCSAssistant Professor of ResearchDirector, Integrative Center for Oncology Research in ExerciseDivision of Biokinesiology & Physical Therapy, Ostrow School of DentistryDepartment of Medicine, Keck School of MedicineUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles, CA 90033

Dr. Dieli-Conwright

Christina M. Dieli-Conwright, PhD, MPH, FACSM, CSCS
Assistant Professor of Research
Director, Integrative Center for Oncology Research in Exercise
Division of Biokinesiology & Physical Therapy, Ostrow School of Dentistry
Department of Medicine, Keck School of Medicine
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA 90033 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: This study was designed to assess the effects of an aerobic and resistance exercise on metabolic dysregulation in sedentary, obese breast cancer survivors, however we further examined the effects on cardiovascular disease risk measured by the Framingham Risk Score, reported here.

Our findings indicated that exercise, indeed, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in this population. 

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Exercise is an impactful non-pharmaceutical “drug” to alleviate risk factors associated with heart disease. 

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Given that the risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease is high among cancer survivors, additional, disseminable exercise studies are needed to alleviate this risk of mortality. Furthermore, offering clinical exercise interventions in survivorship care plans to reduce cardiovascular disease risk is critical to ensure patients are provided the opportunity to participate in exercise under the appropriate supervision and guidance.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: This study was made possible by the research question set forth by my doctoral student, Kyuwan Lee, a cardiovascular physiologist, interested in examination of the FRS. We thank our collaborators and study patients for dedicating their time to participate in a clinical intervention.


Lee K, Tripathy D, Demark-Wahnefried W, et al. Effect of Aerobic and Resistance Exercise Intervention on Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Women With Early-Stage Breast CancerA Randomized Clinical Trial JAMA Oncol. Published online March 28, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.0038


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