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Women In Steady Exercise Research (WISER) Sister

18 Years
35 Years
Open (Enrolling)
Breast Cancer, Healthy, no Evidence of Disease

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Trial Information

Women In Steady Exercise Research (WISER) Sister



- To conduct a dose response study of low- or high-dose exercise over 5 menstrual cycles,
with no concomitant dietary changes producing a caloric deficit, in healthy younger
women with ≥ 18% lifetime risk for developing breast cancer.

- To determine the effects of this exercise regimen on variables known to be associated
with breast mitotic activity in these participants.


- To assess changes in other physiologic parameters associated with breast mitotic
activity (i.e., urinary progesterone [pregnanediol-glucuronide, PdG] from daily first
morning urine samples; follicular phase circulating [serum] levels of estradiol,
progesterone, testosterone, and prolactin; follicular phase breast density
[fibroglandular tissue volume] from magnetic resonance imaging; estrogen metabolites
[estrone, estradiol, estriol, 2-OHE_1, 2-OHE_2, 4-OHE_1, 4-OHE_2, 16-OHE_1 and ratios];
adipokines [i.e., adiponectin and Leptin]; and body composition [i.e., % body fat, lean
mass, fat mass, total mass]) in these participants.

- To assess the extent to which changes in body composition and/or body mass mediate
observed changes in these participants.

- To quantify the relationship between estrogen and progesterone from daily urinary
measurements with observed menstrual cycle alterations such as follicular and luteal
phase length changes, and ovulatory status in these participants.

- To compare levels and exercise-induced changes in urinary estrogens, estrogen
metabolites, circulating hormones, adipokines, and body size across two groups of women
who differ as to breast cancer risk in an exploratory manner.

OUTLINE: Patients are stratified according to body mass index (21-29.9 vs 30-50) and
gynecologic age (< 10 vs ≥ 10 years since start of menstruation). Participants are
randomized to 1 of 3 intervention arms.

- Arm I (control): Participants are placed on a waiting list to receive the exercise
intervention at completion of the study.

- Arm II: Participants undergo a low-intensity exercise program comprising 150 minutes of
exercise per week for 20 weeks. They are given a treadmill at the beginning of the
study and offered ongoing support from a certified exercise professional. Participants
may exercise at home on the provided treadmill or at a gym of their choosing.
Participants must maintain weekly contact with the exercise professional for the
duration of the study, either by phone for brief phone counseling or at a weekly group
exercise session at a participating YMCA. The exercise professional visits the
participant's home for the first exercise session of each of the first 5 weeks to help
individualize the intensity and duration of the exercise session and to instruct
participants on the use of the exercise logs and on injury prevention.

Exercise intensity is measured by a Polar Heart Rate monitor worn by the participant to
record heart rate response during exercise. Every two weeks, the exercise professional
reviews downloadable heart-rate data from the monitor during the home or group exercise
session, to objectively measure exercise adherence and provide guidance and emotional
support to the participant.

- Arm III: Participants undergo a high-intensity exercise program that begins with 150
minutes of exercise per week and then gradually builds to 300 minutes per week over 10
weeks. Participants continue to exercise at the higher level until the end of the
20-week intervention period. Participants also undergo exercise and heart rate
monitoring and brief phone counseling as in arm II.

Blood and urine samples are obtained from participants periodically before and/or during
study to evaluate factors associated with breast mitotic activity and linked to breast
cancer risk: urinary conjugates (i.e., E1G and PdG) by enzyme immunoassays; urinary estrogen
metabolites by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry; circulating hormones (i.e., estradiol,
progesterone, testosterone, and prolactin) by radioimmunoassay; and adipokines (i.e.,
adiponectin and leptin) by sandwich ELISA. Participants also undergo physical assessments,
including periodic measures of body composition by DEXA, follicular phase breast density
(fibroglandular tissue volume) by MRI, and height and weight. Aerobic fitness and physical
activity levels are also assessed.

Participants complete surveys and questionnaires periodically during study to obtain
information on demographics, health history, medication use, eating disorders, dietary
intake, and menstrual history.

Inclusion Criteria


- Healthy women with ≥ 18% lifetime risk for breast cancer as evidenced by the

- Documentation from a genetic counselor of a known familial breast cancer
susceptibility mutation

- Claus model risk of ≥18%

- Predicted probability of BRCA1/2 mutation > 25% based on the Myriad model

- Documentation of a known mutation in a family member such that the Mendelian
probability of a BRCA1/2 mutation would be >25%

- History of lobular carcinoma in situ

- No prior prophylactic mastectomy

- Leisure-time exercise energy expenditure of ≤ 500 kcal/week over the past 6 months

- Hormone receptor status not specified


- Premenopausal

- Menstrual cycles 25-32 days in length

- Intact ovaries and uterus

- Gynecologic age (defined as participant's current age minus the age at which she
started menstruating) of at least 4 years

- Body mass index 21-50

- No history of menstrual difficulties

- No history of physician-diagnosed gynecological disease (e.g., fibroids,
endometriosis, or polycystic ovary syndrome)

- Not pregnant

- Not planning to become pregnant during the study period

- No medical conditions or medications that would prohibit participation in aerobic
exercise or would negatively impact the study

- No history of cancer, except nonmelanoma skin cancers, and in situ cervical cancers

- No eating disorders (e.g., bulimia or binge-eating disorder)

- At least one year since prior smoking

- Not planning to move away from the area during the period of the study

- No concurrent participation in any weight loss programs


- See Disease Characteristics

- At least 3 months since prior hormonal contraception

- Must use effective non-hormonal contraception unless participant has undergone prior
tubal ligation

- Consumes no more than 7 alcoholic beverages per week

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Allocation: Randomized, Masking: Single Blind

Outcome Measure:

Change in the area under the curve for urinary estrogen (E1G-AUC) adjusted for cycle length

Safety Issue:


Principal Investigator

Lorita Grant, MPH, MSW

Investigator Role:

Study Chair

Investigator Affiliation:

Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania



Study ID:




Start Date:

October 2008

Completion Date:

Related Keywords:

  • Breast Cancer
  • Healthy, no Evidence of Disease
  • breast cancer
  • healthy, no evidence of disease
  • Breast Neoplasms



Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  19104-4283