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Welcome to The ONE Group

Note: This post is written by the team of The ONE Group (Oncology – Nutrition – Exercise) at Penn State College of Medicine as part of a first-person blog about their work. Learn more about the group here.

The Oncology, Nutrition and Exercise (ONE) Group at Penn State College of Medicine is a consortium of 12 investigators and their mentees who are all committed to transforming cancer care by establishing evidence-based physical activity and nutrition interventions and the standard of care from the point of cancer diagnosis forward, including active treatment and rehabilitation, and for life after treatment.

The purpose of this blog will be to share important updates from ONE Group member research or on related topics we think might be of interest to patients, clinicians and fellow researchers. For this first blog post, we introduce you to the team and our current work. Welcome to the ONE Group!

The work of this team extends across the life span, from Dr. Pooja Rao‘s online exercise intervention for adolescent and young adult cancer survivors to Dr. Shelley Bluethmann‘s American Cancer Society-funded REJOIN study, which will include an exercise intervention to improve outcomes for older breast cancer survivors.

We do research across the cancer control continuum. Dr. Jon Stine‘s work on patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease focuses on prevention. Dr. Melanie Potiaumpai’s National Cancer Institute-funded IMPROVE-BMT study, Dr. Niraj Gusani‘s IMPROVE-GI study and Dr. Katie Schmitz‘s IMPROVE-B study all focus on prehabilitation (improving outcomes for patients prior to starting treatment).

Dr. Katie Sturgeon‘s NRG Oncology-funded work includes WISER-NET, an exercise intervention offered during neo-adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer. Dr. Meghan Vidt‘s CUFF study is interested in the functional changes that occur due to surgery among breast cancer patients.

Many of the ONE Group investigators study patients as they are undergoing adjuvant treatments, including Dr. Nick Zaorsky, whose American Cancer Society-funded research will examine whether exercise during radiation treatment for prostate cancer will result in improved long-term outcomes. Dr. Schmitz led the EnACT trial, which examined the acceptability and feasibility of an exercise intervention for chemotherapy patients.

Dr. William Calo is a health services researcher, interested in implementation science, whose work with Dr. Schmitz includes examination of best ways to implement exercise interventions for people living with and beyond cancer.

There are multiple studies ongoing for cancer survivors as well, including Dr. Scher Mama‘s National Cancer Institute-funded work promoting exercise among rural cancer survivors.

In addition to our research work, we are a fertile ground for training. At present, there is one postdoc in the group with two pending due to COVID-19 and one predoctoral trainee. The group also hosts multiple master’s degree students and countless undergraduate interns from Messiah College and Penn State Harrisburg. We are so grateful to get to work together at Penn State toward our mission of exercise becoming standard of care in oncology.

Visit our website often for updates, and be in touch with us ( if there is anything with which you think we can help. Until then, it’s time for an exercise snack… 10 squats. Go!

More from The ONE Group

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