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The Reward Study

Study Evaluates Physiological and Neurologic Effects of Exercise Program for Endometrial Cancer Survivors

The REWARD study stands for Revving Up Exercise for Sustained Weight Loss by Altering Neurological Reward and Drive. This is a pilot study of assisted exercise in overweight endometrial cancer patients.

Last year, more than 47,000 new cases of endometrial cancer were diagnosed in the U.S. Obesity and metabolic syndrome are strongly associated with an increased risk for endometrial cancer. These medical problems not only directly contribute to their cancer development but they also significantly contribute to their risk of dying from causes other than their cancer, such as heart attack and stroke. Successful lifestyle weight loss and improved eating habits can significantly reduce their risk of dying from both cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, for many complex reasons, women with endometrial cancer often have difficulty making lasting lifestyle changes that could significantly reduce these risks.

Nora Nock, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Case Western Reserve University and the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center who recently evaluated the far reaching physiologic and neurologic effects of an “assisted” exercise program in overweight endometrial cancer survivors. She demonstrated that in addition to improving fitness levels and body composition, “assisted” exercise also leads to neurologic changes that fundamentally improves eating behavior and exercise motivation. Dr. Nock is now doing a follow-up randomized study to evaluate the effects of six months of assisted and voluntary rate exercise on physiological, behavioral and neurologic outcomes in the endometrial cancer survivors who are overweight. Dr. Nock believes that the REWARD study will show that patients who undergo “assisted” exercise will have improved eating behavior, exercise motivation and quality of life (QoL). She also believes that an exercise intervention of this kind will have a lasting positive effect in the brain regions that will be sustained after the intervention ends.

REWARD Study Participants

Who qualifies for the REWARD Study?

  • Women with early stage endometrial cancer (stage I or II) who have completed treatment for their cancer
  • Women must have been diagnosed within the prior two years.
  • Women with endometrial cancer must have no evidence of disease recurrence.
  • Women must be overweight with a body mass index BMI ≥ 30.0 (obese)
  • Receives medical clearance from their primary care physician (PCP) to exercise in this study

Learn More

For more information about the REWARD study, please contact Dr. Nock.