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Exercise Study for Ovarian Cancer Survivors

Exercise Study for Ovarian Cancer Survivors

Who can participate in the study?

Women with stage II-IV ovarian, fallopian tube, or peritoneal cancer who have undergone surgery and completed chemotherapy within six months (ongoing maintenance therapy is OK) and who are in clinical remission.

Our study

We will compare the effects of moderate aerobic (“cardio”) exercise versus a waitlist control group (no exercise program) on distress, quality of life, cortisol and norepinephrine (hormones that can be elevated when people feel “stressed”) and biomarkers (specific proteins in the blood) associated with decreased cancer survival.

What we are hoping to learn

Women with ovarian cancer often experience high levels of distress and multiple side effects such as fatigue, weakness, anxiety, and other symptoms that decrease their quality of life. These symptoms often persist even after treatment is finished. Studies have shown that distress and chronic stress can make cancers grow and spread. We need to develop and study interventions that can both improve quality of life in ovarian cancer survivors, and lengthen survival time.

Studies have proven that exercising after completing treatment for other types of cancer can improve quality of life. However, there have been very few studies on the effects of exercise on women’s quality of life or their experiences of distress specifically for women with ovarian cancer. In addition, we do not know whether physical activity can improve the likelihood of ovarian cancer patients living longer. While studying the effects of exercise on cancer survival would need to enroll many patients, we can examine the effects of exercise on levels of specific proteins in the blood (biomarkers) in smaller studies. We know that levels of these biomarkers are higher in patients who have poor cancer survival. If we can demonstrate that exercise can lower these biomarkers, it might indicate that exercise can improve survival. Studying how exercise changes these biomarkers can also help us to understand the biological effects of exercise and the specific ways that exercise can improve survival.

What will happen if I join the study?

You will receive a 6-month home-based exercise program shortly after joining the study or be wait-listed for the exercise program and receive it after the 6 month time point. Women in the home-based exercise arm will meet with an exercise trainer to learn how to exercise safely and how to gradually increase their activity level each week to reach the goal of moderate intensity exercise for 150 minutes per week. They will receive weekly telephone calls to help with motivation and to help address any barriers or challenges they are experiencing with exercise.

Women in the waitlist group will be offered the exercise program after 6 months, including meeting with the exercise trainer and support calls.

Participant Eligibility

You may be eligible if you:
● Are willing to travel to Seattle two times (study start and 6 months later)
● All other study activities done by phone or mail
● Received treatment for stage II-IV ovarian, fallopian tube, or peritoneal cancer
● Are in remission and CA125 is normal
● Finished chemotherapy within the last six months (being on maintenance therapy in past 6 months is OK)
● Have never had a recurrence of your cancer


If you would like our study team to contact you, please click this “I AM INTERESTED IN THIS RESEARCH STUDY” link at the bottom of this page.

You can also email or call the study team at:

ocexercise@uw.edu/ 206.221.8247

Additional Study Details

Full Study Title
The Effects of Moderate Exercise on Distress, Quality of Life, and Biomarkers of Angiogenesis and Chronic Stress in Ovarian Cancer Survivors

Study ID: 10045
Start Date: 09/01/2018
End Date: 07/18/2021

Kathryn Pennington, MD


Study Site(s)

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) Prevention Center clinic

1100 Fairview Ave N Arnold Building, ME-B143
Seattle, Washington 98109


Use the link below to send a message to the study coordinator, or call the number above to speak directly with a study representative.

I am interested in this research study.