Researchers from Southfield’s Beaumont are seeking women who have breast cancer for a national study. Investigators hope to learn whether weight loss decreases the likelihood of a recurrence of breast cancer as part of a study called the Breast Cancer Weight Loss (BWEL) Study.
“Previous studies have found that women who are overweight or obese when their breast cancer is diagnosed have a greater risk of their breast cancer recurring, as compared to women who were thinner when their cancer was found,” says Dr. George Howard, principal investigator for Beaumont Health.
“At this time, we do not know whether or not losing weight will reduce the risk of breast cancer returning. This study seeks to determine whether or not the higher risk for breast cancer recurrence in women who are overweight or obese when they are diagnosed with breast cancer could be reduced or eliminated with weight loss.”
The study is conducted by the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, a national clinical research group supported by the National Cancer Institute. The alliance is made up of cancer doctors, health professionals, and laboratory researchers whose goal is to develop better treatments for cancer, prevent it, reduce the side effects of the disease, and improve the quality of life of cancer patients.
About 3,100 women will be enrolled in the study. A computer will randomly assign study volunteers into two groups. Group one participants will receive a health education program designed to give women more information about their breast cancer and overall health. Group two participants will get the health education program and a two-year weight loss program designed to help women lose about 10 percent of their weight by decreasing calories and increasing exercise.
The research will be conducted at Beaumont hospitals in Dearborn, Farmington Hills, Grosse Pointe, Royal Oak, and Troy.
More information is available by contacting Beaumont’s Cancer Clinical Trials Office at (248) 551-7695 or by visiting www.ClinicalTrials.gov and typing “breast cancer” into the “Condition or disease box” and “BWEL” in the “Other terms” box.