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Calgary, Canada

Gill S.J.,University of Calgary | Friedenreich C.M.,Cancer Control Alberta | Friedenreich C.M.,University of Calgary | Sajobi T.T.,University of Calgary | And 11 more authors.
Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society | Year: 2015

To determine if total lifetime physical activity (PA) is associated with better cognitive functioning with aging and if cerebrovascular function mediates this association. A sample of 226 (52.2% female) community dwelling middle-aged and older adults (66.5±6.4 years) in the Brain in Motion Study, completed the Lifetime Total Physical Activity Questionnaire and underwent neuropsychological and cerebrovascular blood flow testing. Multiple robust linear regressions were used to model the associations between lifetime PA and global cognition after adjusting for age, sex, North American Adult Reading Test results (i.e., an estimate of premorbid intellectual ability), maximal aerobic capacity, body mass index and interactions between age, sex, and lifetime PA. Mediation analysis assessed the effect of cerebrovascular measures on the association between lifetime PA and global cognition. Post hoc analyses assessed past year PA and current fitness levels relation to global cognition and cerebrovascular measures. Better global cognitive performance was associated with higher lifetime PA (p=.045), recreational PA (p=.021), and vigorous intensity PA (p=.004), PA between the ages of 0 and 20 years (p=.036), and between the ages of 21 and 35 years (p<.0001). Cerebrovascular measures did not mediate the association between PA and global cognition scores (p>.5), but partially mediated the relation between current fitness and global cognition. This study revealed significant associations between higher levels of PA (i.e., total lifetime, recreational, vigorous PA, and past year) and better cognitive function in later life. Current fitness levels relation to cognitive function may be partially mediated through current cerebrovascular function. © 2015 INS. Published by Cambridge University Press.

Bisschop C.N.S.,University Utrecht | Courneya K.S.,University of Alberta | Velthuis M.J.,Comprehensive Cancer Center the Netherlands | Monninkhof E.M.,University Utrecht | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Purpose: Important considerations for exercise trials in cancer patients are contamination and differential drop-out among the control group members that might jeopardize the internal validity. This systematic review provides an overview of different control groups design characteristics of exercise-oncology trials and explores the association with contamination and drop-out rates. Methods: Randomized controlled exercise-oncology trials from two Cochrane reviews were included. Additionally, a computer-aided search using Medline (Pubmed), Embase and CINAHL was conducted after completion date of the Cochrane reviews. Eligible studies were classified according to three control group design characteristics: the exercise instruction given to controls before start of the study (exercise allowed or not); and the intervention the control group was offered during (any (e.g., education sessions or telephone contacts) or none) or after (any (e.g., cross-over or exercise instruction) or none) the intervention period. Contamination (yes or no) and excess drop-out rates (i.e., drop-out rate of the control group minus the dropout rate exercise group) were described according to the three design characteristics of the control group and according to the combinations of these three characteristics; so we additionally made subgroups based on combinations of type and timing of instructions received. Results: 40 exercise-oncology trials were included based on pre-specified eligibility criteria. The lowest contamination (7.1% of studies) and low drop-out rates (excess drop-out rate -4.7±9.2) were found in control groups offered an intervention after the intervention period. When control groups were offered an intervention both during and after the intervention period, contamination (0%) and excess drop-out rates (-10.0±12.8%) were even lower. Conclusions: Control groups receiving an intervention during and after the study intervention period have lower contamination and drop-out rates. The present findings can be considered when designing future exercise-oncology trials. Copyright: © 2015 Steins Bisschop et al.

Yuan Y.,University of Alberta | Li M.,University of Alberta | Yang J.,Cancer Control Alberta | Elliot T.,Foothills Medical Center | And 4 more authors.
BMC Health Services Research | Year: 2016

Background: Understanding the factors affecting the mode and timeliness of breast cancer diagnosis is important to optimizing patient experiences and outcomes. The purposes of the study were to identify factors related to the length of the diagnostic interval and assess how they vary by mode of diagnosis: Screen or symptom detection. Methods: All female residents of Alberta diagnosed with first primary breast cancer in years 2004-2010 were identified from the Alberta Cancer Registry. Data were linked to Physician Claims and screening program databases. Screen-detected patients were identified as having a screening mammogram within 6-months prior to diagnosis; remaining patients were considered symptom-detected. Separate quantile regression was conducted for each detection mode to assess the relationship between demographic/clinical and healthcare factors. Results: Overall, 38 % of the 12,373 breast cancer cases were screen-detected compared to 47 % of the screen-eligible population. Health region of residence was strongly associated with cancer detection mode. The median diagnostic interval for screen and symptom-detected cancers was 19 and 21 days, respectively. The variation by health region, however, was large ranging from an estimated median of 4 to 37 days for screen-detected patients and from 17 to 33 days for symptom-detected patients. Cancer stage was inversely associated with the diagnostic interval for symptom-detected cancers, but not for screen-detected cancers. Conclusion: Significant variation by health region in both the percentage of women with screen-detected cancer and the length of the diagnostic interval for screen and symptom-detected breast cancers suggests there could be important differences in local breast cancer diagnostic care coordination. © 2016 Yuan et al.

Torrezan G.T.,International Research Center | Ferreira E.N.,International Research Center | Nakahata A.M.,International Research Center | Barros B.D.F.,International Research Center | And 9 more authors.
Nature Communications | Year: 2014

Wilms tumour (WT) is an embryonal kidney neoplasia for which very few driver genes have been identified. Here we identify DROSHA mutations in 12% of WT samples (26/222) using whole-exome sequencing and targeted sequencing of 10 microRNA (miRNA)-processing genes. A recurrent mutation (E1147K) affecting a metal-binding residue of the RNase IIIb domain is detected in 81% of the DROSHA-mutated tumours. In addition, we identify non-recurrent mutations in other genes of this pathway (DGCR8, DICER1, XPO5 and TARBP2). By assessing the miRNA expression pattern of the DROSHA-E1147K-mutated tumours and cell lines expressing this mutation, we determine that this variant leads to a predominant downregulation of a subset of miRNAs. We confirm that the downregulation occurs exclusively in mature miRNAs and not in primary miRNA transcripts, suggesting that the DROSHA E1147K mutation affects processing of primary miRNAs. Our data underscore the pivotal role of the miRNA biogenesis pathway in WT tumorigenesis, particularly the major miRNA-processing gene DROSHA. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Friedenreich C.M.,University of Calgary | MacLaughlin S.,Cancer Control Alberta | Neilson H.K.,Cancer Control Alberta | Stanczyk F.Z.,University of Southern California | And 6 more authors.
BMC Cancer | Year: 2015

Background: Exercise has favorable effects on biomarkers associated with a lower risk of breast cancer, however it is unclear if higher doses of exercise provide additional effects. No clinical trial has systematically examined how different exercise volumes influence the mechanisms underlying breast cancer etiology. The Breast Cancer and Exercise Trial in Alberta (BETA) - a follow-up study to the Alberta Physical Activity and Breast Cancer Prevention (ALPHA) Trial - is examining how a one-year, high versus moderate volume aerobic exercise intervention influences several biomechanisms hypothesized to influence breast cancer risk in a group of postmenopausal women. Secondary aims are to compare intervention effects on psychosocial and quality of life outcomes as well as understand exercise adherence at 12 and 24 months, and maintenance of all study outcomes at 24 months. Methods/Design: The BETA Trial is a two-center, two-armed randomized controlled exercise intervention trial conducted in 400 previously inactive, postmenopausal women aged 50-74 years, in Alberta, Canada. Participants were randomly assigned to a one-year aerobic exercise intervention of either high volume (300 minutes/week) or moderate volume (150 minutes/week). Blood draws and accelerometry were performed at baseline, six and 12 months. Baseline and 12-month measurements were taken of adiposity (including dual energy X-ray absorptiometry and computed tomography scans), physical fitness, dietary intake, self-reported physical activity and sedentary behavior, quality of life, perceived stress, happiness, sleep, and determinants of exercise adherence. Exercise maintenance was assessed and all study measurements were repeated at 24 months. Blood will be analyzed for endogenous estrogens, insulin resistance indicators, and inflammatory markers. Discussion: The BETA Trial will compare the impact of a high versus moderate volume of aerobic exercise on a variety of biological, physiological, and psychological outcomes of relevance to postmenopausal women. A tightly controlled exercise intervention and objective outcome measurements are methodological strengths. The BETA Trial will inform future prevention initiatives by assessing adherence to a high volume of exercise over 12 months by postmenopausal women, and the ability of these women to maintain activity over the longer-term. The ultimate objective is to inform public health guidelines for reducing breast cancer risk through physical activity. Trial registration: Clinical Trials Registration Number: NCT01435005. © 2014 Friedenreich et al.; licensee BioMed Central.

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