Moving research into practice: summary report of the Ex/Cancer meeting on physical activity, exercise, and rehabilitation in oncology Academic Article uri icon

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  • The development of evidence-based exercise guidelines for people with cancer represents a major achievement in research and provides direction to programming initiatives. The prevalence of sedentary cancer survivors and the risk posed by inactivity suggests a knowledge-to-action gap for which the evidence has not led to increased exercise levels in that population. To address that gap, researchers continue to explore opportunities to improve the understanding of exercise within the oncologic context—from tumour biology to behaviour-change theories—to drive improved access and participation in exercise and rehabilitative activity. In Canada, such efforts have largely been invested by individuals and small teams across the country rather than by unifying stakeholders to drive nationwide impact. Accordingly, a national group of leading researchers, clinicians, and other stakeholders convened a meeting to discuss and strategize initiatives on how to conduct innovative research into the effects of exercise and rehabilitation in cancer survivors, to increase access to exercise and rehabilitation services in cancer survivors, and to reduce sedentary behaviour in cancer survivors. The 2-day meeting, titled Ex/Cancer, was held April 2017 in Toronto, Ontario, and was attended by 83 stakeholders from across Canada, representing knowledge end-users (cancer survivors), clinicians (oncologists, nurses, counsellors), a provincial cancer care agency, community-based exercise and cancer organizations, and researchers. Attendees participated in networking events, roundtable discussions, and breakout sessions to identify, discuss, and develop clinical and research experiences and opportunities. In addition to knowledge exchange between attendees, the meeting set the foundation for the development of a collaborative network to support the development, dissemination, and support of clinical and research activity in exercise and rehabilitation for cancer survivors. With unanimous support from attendees, a major product of the Ex/Cancer meeting was the formation of the Canadian Oncology Rehabilitation and Exercise Network—coren.


  • Santa Mina, D
  • Fong, AJ
  • Petrella, AR
  • Culos-Reed, SN
  • Chasen, Martin
  • Sabiston, CM

publication date

  • December 1, 2018