Impact of the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA Program on physical activity, fitness, and quality of life in cancer survivors.

Patient and Survivor Care
Session Type and Session Title: 
Oral Abstract Session, Patient and Survivor Care
Abstract Number: 


J Clin Oncol 33, 2015 (suppl; abstr 9508)
Melinda L Irwin, Brenda Cartmel, Maura Harrigan, Tara Beth Sanft, Celeste Wong, Meghan Hughes, Norbert Hootsmans, Bridget Winterhalter, Laura Shockro, Keelin O'Connor, Sara M. Tolaney, Erica L. Mayer, Rachel Lynn Yung, Rachel A. Freedman, Jennifer A. Ligibel; Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT; Yale Cancer Center, New Haven, CT; Yale Cancer Center, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA; Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA; Dana-Farber Cancer Inst, Waban, MA; Dana Farber Cancer Inst, Boston, MA; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brookline, MA

Abstract Disclosures


Background: Physical activity (PA) has been linke d to cancer risk and outcomes, yet many survivors are inactive. We evaluated the impact of the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program, an exercise program available for cancer survivors at YMCA’s across the USA, on PA, fitness, and quality of life (QOL). Methods: Participants were recruited through Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Key eligibility criteria included having a cancer diagnosis and being able to walk. Participants were randomized to immediate participation in a 12-week LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program at a participating YMCA in CT or MA, or to a wait-list control group. Study measures were collected at baseline and 12-weeks. Intervention effects were evaluated using chi-square tests and generalized linear models, with change at 12-weeks in PA and fitness (assessed through the 6-Minute Walk Test [6MWT]) as primary endpoints. Results: A total of 186 participants were randomized (95 to the LIVESTRONG Program and 91 to control). The majority of patients had stage I-II disease and 50% had breast cancer. A majority of participants were inactive at baseline, with only 34% reporting 150+ min/wk of PA. Participants randomized to the LIVESTRONG Program attended on average 83% of scheduled sessions over the 3-month program and experienced significant increases in physical activity (75% exercising at 150+ min/wk vs. 25% of controls, p < .05), and improvements in fitness and QOL compared to controls (Table). Conclusions: The LIVESTRONG program was effective in increasing PA, fitness and QOL in cancer survivors. Additional work is needed to evaluate sustainability of these effects, but this program could provide a platform to increase physical activity in thousands of cancer survivors across the USA. Clinical trial information: NCT02112149

Baseline to 12-week changes in PA, fitness, and QOL, means (SD).

BaselineChanges over 12 weeks
Physical Activity
158.5 (215.0)119.9 (169.8)0.1871.0 (243.4)-23.6 (180.2)0.004
6MWT (ft)1592 (254)1578 (335)0.50111 (204)15 (220)0.007
FACT-G90.5 (14.4)88.7 (12.3)0.352.5 (1.1)-0.3 (1.1)0.024