SUDBURY, ON – Breast cancer patients in our region will soon have the opportunity to be part of an international healthy lifestyle study through the Northeast Cancer Centre (NECC). The Canadian Clinical Trials Group (CCTG) has just announced that the Canadian arm of the international study BWEL is now accepting participants. The NECC Clinical Trials Department will be looking to enroll area patients in this international healthy lifestyle study led by a US group, the Alliance. 

BWEL (Alliance: A011401) (CCTG: MAC.20) will test whether losing weight through reducing calories and exercising can lower the risk of breast cancer recurrence.  This study will evaluate the role of weight loss in overweight (BMI ≥ 27) women with early breast cancer.  Participants will have been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer within the past 12 months and completed all their chemotherapy, radiation and surgery before starting the study.

Dr. Lacey Pitre is the local Principal Investigator of this study and is very excited to have breast cancer patients at the Northeast Cancer Centre take part in such a unique study.  “This is a great opportunity for our patients to participate in a large North American study which could help change how breast cancer patients are counselled and managed in the future,” says Dr. Pitre. 

Qualifying patients will be placed in one of two study groups, where one group will receive a supervised weight loss program plus health education materials, and the other group will be provided with health education material.  The supervised weight loss group will receive two years of telephone support from the Dana-Farber Cancer Centre in Boston, be given a pedometer, workbook, cookbook, food scale and bathroom scale to assist them in their weight loss program.  The second group will receive information by mail as well as the opportunity to participate in webinars. 

Paula Peroni, patient at the NECC, participated in a clinical study when she was diagnosed five years ago with stage 3 breast cancer. “The Spring of 2012, I began a new chapter in my life after when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time, I was given the opportunity to participate in a new five year research study. It was a commitment to be sure, but I was monitored closely and appreciated the care and support that I received. We have a spectacular team of dedicated professionals in our city and I was honored to be able to play my part,” says Paula Peroni.

The study is limited to patients with higher risk early stage breast cancers. For more information on the trial and how to be considered for the study contact Andrea Morrison at 705-522-6237 ext. 2257 or amorrison@hsnsudbury.ca.