Henry Thompson, director of Colorado State University's Cancer Prevention Laboratory, has some incisive questions: which approaches make the most difference for cancer prevention on a cellular level? Is it the weight, is it the exercise or is it the diet that makes the difference? And why are 10 pounds significant?

Thompson's research is primarily focused on what physical activity and dieting contribute to breast cancer prevention. With a machine developed by engineering student Nick Fernandez at Colorado State, Thompson and his colleagues will use a laboratory model to evaluate the impacts of exercise on breast cancer prevention.

The machine, which rewards exercise with food, permits Thompson to measure and study possible impacts of exercise intensity, speed, duration and frequency. The machine, which includes a computer-controlled exercise wheel, is a new concept in preclinical cancer research that Thompson developed specifically for this study.

The machine will allow Thompson to monitor the impacts of specific exercise and dieting combinations on breast cancer prevention to address questions such as: Is running better than walking? Are long exercise sessions more effective than short sessions? Is frequent exercise more important than sporadic exercise?

Specifically, the research will look for a relationship between exercise and risk for breast cancer. Thompson said that research will look for further clues in current evidence that indicates that some protection against cancer is due to the effects of physical activity that are distinct from, as well as related to, exercise's effects on adult weight gain.

Thompson's study will look at the molecular and cellular differences exercise intensity, duration and frequency has on altering chemical activity, cellular proliferation and molecular pathways within the body that may trigger or help to prevent breast cancer.

MEDICA.de; Source: Colorado State University