A program to better understand the benefits of exercise and sport for young people recovering from bone cancer will soon start at The University of Queensland.
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences researcher Paula Wilson is investigating whether an exercise training program could improve health, fitness and functional outcomes for people who have undergone bone replacement surgery.
“Patients with a megaprosthesis — a metal prosthetic surgically inserted to replace cancerous bone — often report deficits in strength and range of motion after the limb has been salvaged,” Ms Wilson said.
“We want to know whether these are permanent and unavoidable consequences of the surgical procedure itself, or whether they can be ‘trained away’ through exercise or sport.
“The results from our study may provide further information as to whether this population could be eligible for participation in Paralympic sport.”
Ms Wilson is looking for three to five people, aged between 15 and 35, who have undergone insertion of a lower limb megaprosthesis for the treatment of a bone tumour.
“Bone cancer is rare, accounting for less than 1 per cent of all cancers, but it is the third most common cause of cancer-related death in people under 25 years of age, behind brain cancer and leukaemia,” Ms Wilson said.
“We know that participation in exercise is beneficial for the majority of people during and after cancer treatment.
“Research has shown it can increase quality of life, improve symptoms of fatigue, and help people become fitter and stronger.
“However, there have been no studies conducted looking at the fitness and functional outcomes achievable in bone cancer patients who have had a megaprosthesis inserted.
The study is being conducted at UQ’s St Lucia campus in Brisbane, with participants undertaking 30 weeks of free, personalised training in a sport or exercise of their choice.
Interested participants should contact Ms Wilson directly.