If these improvements in pain and functioning were to translate into improved aromatase inhibitor adherence and even improved outcomes, the clinical significance would be substantial.
—Kerry S. Courneya, PhD
Commenting on the results of the HOPE Study presented at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, Carlos L. Arteaga, MD, said, “We all know that this is the right thing to do. This important study provides us with new guidelines and a structure so that patients find it easier to follow the recommendation of programmed exercise when taking aromatase inhibitors.” Dr. Arteaga is Director of the Breast Cancer Program at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Co-Chair of the San Antonio meeting, and President-Elect of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).
“Even more important, by impacting adherence to treatment with [aromatase inhibitors], the measures tested in this study may also impact long-term patient outcome,” Dr. Arteaga said. He moderated a press conference where these data were discussed.
Potential Clinical Significance
Kerry S. Courneya, PhD, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Cancer, University of Alberta, Edmonton, weighed in on the study as well. Dr. Courneya has published studies on the benefits of exercise in cancer patients.
“This is an important study. It is one of the first to focus on breast cancer survivors taking aromatase inhibitors and one of the first to include women experiencing mild to moderate pain prior to starting the exercise program,” he said.
“The finding that women experiencing aromatase inhibitor–related pain were able to adhere to the exercise program and experience benefits related to their pain is significant from a quality of life and health perspective. If these improvements in pain and functioning were to translate into improved aromatase inhibitor adherence and even improved outcomes, the clinical significance would be substantial.” ■
Disclosure: Drs. Arteaga and Courneya reported no potential conflicts of interest.