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28-10-2016 | Breast cancer | Article

Living well after breast cancer randomized controlled trial protocol: evaluating a telephone-delivered weight loss intervention versus usual care in women following treatment for breast cancer

BMC Cancer

Authors: Marina M. Reeves, Caroline O. Terranova, Jane M. Erickson, Jennifer R. Job, Denise S. K. Brookes, Nicole McCarthy, Ingrid J. Hickman, Sheleigh P. Lawler, Brianna S. Fjeldsoe, Genevieve N. Healy, Elisabeth A. H. Winkler, Monika Janda, J. Lennert Veerman, Robert S. Ware, Johannes B. Prins, Theo Vos, Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Elizabeth G. Eakin

Publisher: BioMed Central



Obesity, physical inactivity and poor diet quality have been associated with increased risk of breast cancer-specific and all-cause mortality as well as treatment-related side-effects in breast cancer survivors. Weight loss intervention trials in breast cancer survivors have shown that weight loss is safe and achievable; however, few studies have examined the benefits of such interventions on a broad range of outcomes and few have examined factors important to translation (e.g. feasible delivery method for scaling up, assessment of sustained changes, cost-effectiveness). The Living Well after Breast Cancer randomized controlled trial aims to evaluate a 12-month telephone-delivered weight loss intervention (versus usual care) on weight change and a range of secondary outcomes including cost-effectiveness.


Women (18–75 years; body mass index 25–45 kg/m2) diagnosed with stage I-III breast cancer in the previous 2 years are recruited from public and private hospitals and through the state-based cancer registry (target n = 156). Following baseline assessment, participants are randomized 1:1 to either a 12-month telephone-delivered weight loss intervention (targeting diet and physical activity) or usual care. Data are collected at baseline, 6-months (mid-intervention), 12-months (end-of-intervention) and 18-months (maintenance). The primary outcome is change in weight at 12-months. Secondary outcomes are changes in body composition, bone mineral density, cardio-metabolic and cancer-related biomarkers, metabolic health and chronic disease risk, physical function, patient-reported outcomes (quality of life, fatigue, menopausal symptoms, body image, fear of cancer recurrence) and behaviors (dietary intake, physical activity, sitting time). Data collected at 18-months will be used to assess whether outcomes achieved at end-of-intervention are sustained six months after intervention completion. Cost-effectiveness will be assessed, as will mediators and moderators of intervention effects.


This trial will provide evidence needed to inform the wide-scale provision of weight loss, physical activity and dietary interventions as part of routine survivorship care for breast cancer survivors.

Trial registration

Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry (ANZCTR) - ACTRN12612000997​853 (Registered 18 September 2012).

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