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Student research project

Supervisor(s): Dr Erin Howden and Associate Professor Andre La Gerche

Project summary

The population of cancer survivors is growing rapidly globally due to advances with early diagnosis and targeted treatments. However, these individual have complex health status and many may struggle to return to their pre-cancer health status. Further there is evidence, particularly following blood cancers that survivors will experience cardiovascular and metabolic conditions at a 5-fold higher rate and that these conditions predominantly of older age emerge 15–20 years earlier.

Cancer treatment can cause systemic damage contributing to the increase risk of cardiovascular disease, however, physical deconditioning may also play an important role. In patients who have been treated for acute leukaemia the effects of treatment on physical function and the determinants has not been systematically evaluated. Further many patients report ongoing fatigue and reduced functional capacity, exercise training is one potential strategy to improve fatigue and physical function. But has yet to be evaluated. Thus this project will seek to determine the degree of physical impairment in patients following treatment for acute leukaemia and evaluate the feasibility and effectives of any exercise intervention in this patient group.

This project is suitable for a Masters or PhD student.

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