September 20, 2018

UAB receives $11.7 million grant to test weight loss intervention for cancer survivors

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Some 652 participants across four states will be recruited to test the effects of exercise and diet interventions in underserved cancer survivors.

wendy demark webWendy Demark-Wahnefried, Ph.D., R.D.Researchers with the University of Alabama at Birmingham have received a five-year $11.7 million grant from the NIH and National Cancer Institute to test effective and scalable diet and exercise interventions among underserved cancer survivors in Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee.

“Cancer survivors age 60 and older are an at-risk population for obesity, functional decline and many other chronic diseases after their cancer diagnosis,” said principal investigator Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Ph.D., R.D., professor and Webb Endowed Chair of Nutrition Sciences. “This grant allows us to target older individuals who may be at risk and help them to have better lives post-cancer.”

Researchers from the schools of Health Professions and Public Health, Divisions of Hematology and Oncology and Preventive Medicine, and the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center will all be part of the intervention efforts.

Demark-Wahnefried says she and her team will be recruiting 652 participants across four states for three separate initiatives that test three distinct diet and exercise interventions — for the program titled “Adapting MultiPLe behavior Interventions that eFfectively Improve Cancer Survivor Health,” or AMPLIFI. The interventions will be web-based and assessments will take place in the field, so researchers can monitor participants from miles away.

This study will be a multidisciplinary effort including faculty members from across UAB’s campus. Other team members include Laura Rogers, M.D., Dori Pekmezi, Ph.D., Maria Pisu, Ph.D., Robert Oster, Ph.D., Kelly Kenzik, Ph.D., Natalya Ivankova, Ph.D., Yumei Schoenberger-Godwin, and Kevin Fontaine, Ph.D., all of UAB; and Michelle Martin from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Recruiting will begin soon. For more information, please call 205-975-4022.