HIPPOCAMPAL AND COGNITIVE FUNCTION, EXERCISE AND OVARIAN, UTERINE, AND ENDOMETRIAL CANCER: A PILOT STUDY

Principal Investigator:  Richard P. Sloan, Ph.D.

Considerable evidence now demonstrates that chemotherapy for various cancers contributes to cognitive dysfunction – popularly called “chemobrain” - but there are no well-supported interventions to reduce the risk of this dysfunction. In this study, we will recruit 30 subjects, 21 of whom will meet inclusion and exclusion criteria. Subjects will be screened in person by a study physician to ensure that they meet study inclusion criteria. They will complete a medical history questionnaire, a claustrophobia questionnaire and will be screened for conditions that contra-indicate MRI studies. The Mini Mental State Exam will also be administered before final eligibility is determined. Eligible subjects will undergo a two-step consent process with a research assistant and study physician and have a pre-randomization 6-minute walk test, MRI, blood draw, vaginal swab and neuropsychology test before beginning chemotherapy. Subjects will then be randomized to one of three groups: 1) standard care; 2) physical activity beginning at the start of chemotherapy and continuing for 10 weeks after completion; and3) 10 weeks of physical activity beginning after completion of chemotherapy. Subjects will wear a Fitbit activity monitor to track the number of steps they take each day and participants in the two exercise groups will complete an individually tailored activity-increasing intervention for either 10 weeks or 28 weeks, depending on the condition they are randomized to. At the end of chemotherapy, all subjects will have a second blood draw and vaginal swab. Ten weeks after they complete chemotherapy, all subjects will complete a final 6-minute walk test, MRI, blood draw, vaginal swab and neuropsychology test.

Marna Freed