Effects of therapeutic exercise in survivors of childhood posterior fossa brain tumours

Professor Stewart Trost

Professor Stewart Trost
(Queensland University of Technology Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation)

Over 60% of childhood brain cancers are located in the lower region of the brain known as the ‘posterior fossa’. Sadly, surviving posterior fossa tumours often comes at the cost of decreased physical functioning and significant neurocognitive impairment.

Research has shown that children with other types of cancer who participate in therapeutic exercise programs show significant improvements in muscular strength, cognitive function and cardiorespiratory fitness. But there has been no research into the impact for children with posterior fossa tumours.

The research

Prof Stewart Trost will lead randomised controlled trial to investigate whether a 12-week therapeutic exercise program improves cardiorespiratory fitness, functional strength, cognitive function and quality of life in patients with posterior fossa brain tumours.

The project will involve researchers and clinicians, including experts in paediatric exercise science and neuro-oncology at Queensland Children’s Hospital, plus the paediatric exercise testing laboratory at the Centre for Children’s Health Research.

The potential outcomes

It is expected this research will translate into ways to reduce the risk for chronic, disabling conditions such as obesity, cardiometabolic disorders and poor psychosocial functioning in childhood brain cancer survivors.

The research team

Prof Stewart Trost 

Queensland University of Technology – School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Scientific Investigator

Dr Timothy Hassall 

Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service, Oncologist, CCBC Program Director, Clinical Investigator

Dr Emmah Baque

Queensland University of Technology/Griffith University, Co-Investigator

Dr Carolina Sandler

Kirby Institute UNSW Sydney, Co-Investigator

Dr Denise Brookes

Queensland University of Technology, Research Assistant

Dr Caroline Terranova

Queensland University of Technology, Research Project Officer

Brooke Kohler

Queensland University of Technology, PhD Student.