The Colon Health and Life-Long Exercise Change (CHALLENGE) trial (CO.21) Academic Article uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Observational studies indicate that physical activity (PA) is strongly associated with improved disease outcomes in colon cancer survivors, but a randomized controlled trial is needed to determine whether the association is causal and whether new policies to promote exercise are justified. PURPOSE: The co.21 Colon Health and Life-Long Exercise Change (challenge) trial undertaken by the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group (NCIC CTG) is designed to determine the effects of a structured pa intervention on outcomes for survivors of high-risk stage II or III colon cancer who have completed adjuvant therapy within the previous 2-6 months. METHODS: Trial participants (n = 962) will be stratified by centre, disease stage, body mass index, and performance status, and will be randomly assigned to a structured pa intervention or to general health education materials. The pa intervention will consist of a behavioural support program and supervised pa sessions delivered over a 3-year period, beginning with regular face-to-face sessions and tapering to less frequent face-to-face or telephone sessions. The primary endpoint is disease-free survival. Important secondary endpoints include multiple patient-reported outcomes, objective physical functioning, biologic correlative markers, and an economic analysis. SUMMARY: Cancer survivors and cancer care professionals are interested in the potential role of PA to improve multiple disease-related outcomes, but a randomized controlled trial is needed to provide compelling evidence to justify changes in health care policies and practice.


  • Courneya, Kerry S
  • Booth, CM
  • Gill, S
  • O’Brien, P
  • Vardy, J
  • Friedenreich, CM
  • Au, HJ
  • Brundage, MD
  • Tu, D
  • Dhillon, H
  • Meyer, Ralph

publication date

  • December 2008