Trial to look at effect of home exercise on gut microbiome in cancer survivors

The 10-week trial will include meals provided by study investigators.

Laura Rogers, M.D. Laura Rogers, M.D.
(Photography: Steve Wood)
Researchers with the University of Alabama at Birmingham Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine are currently recruiting breast cancer survivors for a study to determine whether home exercise regimens impact the human gut microbiome. 

“Understanding the impact exercise has on a cancer survivor’s gut microbiome can improve the health and well-being of cancer survivors by enhancing treatments targeting the gut microbiome,” said lead investigator Laura Rogers, M.D. “Although scientific studies support a link between exercise and the gut microbiome, rigorous randomized research studies needed to confirm this causal link are limited and usually involve supervised exercise.”

The pilot project, which began in August 2021, will involve two groups of breast cancer survivors, and will include 10 weeks of two types of home-based exercise (aerobic and stretching). All participants will receive a standardized diet plan. 

The data will be gathered virtually by a wearable exercise-tracking device. To ensure the safety of participants during the COVID-19 pandemic, no in-person meetings will be required. 

This study will also determine whether exercise influences the gut microbiome differently in non-Hispanic Black compared to non-Hispanic white breast cancer survivors.

“If exercise affects the gut microbiome differently in non-Hispanic Black breast cancer survivors, then current recommendations could be improved for this subgroup at greater risk of poor health outcomes linked to the gut microbiome,” Rogers said.  

This study is funded by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama in collaboration with the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB. To see if you qualify for this study, please call 205-975-2249 or email