Cancer Research Highlights from Upcoming ACSM Annual Meeting in Orlando

Last year, an estimated 18 million cancer cases existed worldwide. This year, an estimated 1.76 new cancer cases will be diagnosed and 606,000 cancer deaths will occur in the United States. The number of cancer survivors worldwide is also growing, with an estimated 15.5 million cancer survivors in the United States. This is a selection of research related to the prevention and treatment of cancer that will be presented during ACSM's 66th Annual Meeting – May 28-June 1 in Orlando, Florida.

  • Updating the Exercise Recommendations for Cancer Survivors: A Report on the ACSM Roundtable for Exercise and Cancer 2.0 ACSM convened an International Multidisciplinary Roundtable on Exercise and Cancer to evaluate and translate the evidence linking physical activity and cancer prevention, treatment and control. Leading subject matter experts reviewed the existing science on sedentary behavior, exercise and cancer with an eye toward providing recommendations related to exercise for the primary and secondary prevention of cancer; the effectiveness of exercise for cancer treatment and side-effect outcomes; and for triage, referral and exercise programming after a cancer diagnosis. 

  • New Developments in Cancer Prevention and Control: The Importance of Moving More and Sitting Less – This lecture will present evidence examined at the roundtable related to new developments from epidemiologic studies examining sedentary behavior as a distinct risk factor for incident cancer and studies of physical activity and survival following a diagnosis of cancer.

  • Making Exercise Standard of Care after Exercise: Results from ACSM Roundtable – This lecture will present the results of roundtable sessions that addressed translation of evidence into clinical and community practice.

  • Weight Loss and Exercise as Breast Cancer Treatment: Could the Treadmill Ever Replace Taxol? Jennifer Ligibel, M.D., from the Center for Integrative Therapies and Healthy Living at Harvard’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute will discuss the BWEL study (Breast cancer WEight Loss study, NCT02750826), the largest ongoing trial of weight loss among breast cancer survivors. The trial is assessing whether exercise and weight loss in this population might prevent breast cancer recurrence. 
  • Molecular and Metabolic Mechanisms Underlying the Exercise-Cancer Link – Stephen Hursting, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will address the mechanisms linking exercise and cancer prevention from a preclinical perspective.
  • To HIIT or Not to HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training Considerations for Cancer Survivors – Cancer survivors remain distinctly at risk for poor cardiorespiratory fitness, weight gain, excessive fatigue and emotional distress that can be mitigated by exercise participation. High intensity interval training (HIIT) has emerged as a novel approach within clinical exercise settings due to health benefits like increased cardiorespiratory fitness, lean mass and quality of life, in addition to decreased fatigue, fat mass and depression. HIIT may be a missing link in the cancer rehabilitation spectrum vital to the improvement of physical, psychological and emotional health of cancer survivors. This lecture includes an overview of the benefits of HIIT on cancer treatment-induced side effects and related health outcomes, including a proposed HIIT exercise prescription for cancer survivors.
  • Exercise is Cancer Medicine: How do we Prove it? Breaking Down the Barriers to Translational Research in Humans – Exercise is well-established as a safe method to enhance quality of life, physical fitness and some disease or treatment-related symptoms in cancer survivors. There is an increasing preclinical evidence base of studies investigating the efficacy and mechanisms of exercise-mediated cancer control, yet very few studies have investigated the impact of exercise on cancer-specific outcomes in humans. This lecture will provide a primer on tumor biology and microenvironment; review preclinical evidence and mechanisms; share an overview of non-invasive methods and biomarkers to assess cancer response; and review clinical evidence and next steps for translational research.

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About the American College of Sports Medicine

The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 50,000 international, national and regional members are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to improve educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine. More details can be found at