The following article features coverage from the 2018 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium. Click here to read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s conference coverage.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) survivors may show a functional well-being improvement after a 12-week physical activity intervention, according to research being presented at the 2018 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in San Francisco, California.1

There is evidence that physical activity improves health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among CRC survivors. Some recently developed devices, including the Fitbit FlexTM, may help to improve physical activity.

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For this randomized controlled trial ( Identifier: NCT02966054), researchers evaluated whether a Fitbit FlexTM and 12 weeks of daily text messages would improve functional activity and HRQoL among CRC survivors. Forty-one survivors were enrolled; HRQoL was assessed at baseline and at 12 weeks. Assessment relied on the RAND Short Form Survey (SF-36) and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy — Colorectal (FACT-C).

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Survivors assigned to the experimental arm showed an improvement in the FACT-C functional well-being sub-scale from baseline to 12 weeks (mean change, 1.81; P = .02). No other significant HRQoL changes were noted in the experimental group.

In the control arm, improvements in the FACT-C emotional well-being and the SF-36 role physical sub-scales were noted.

The authors noted that “no other measures of HRQoL were statistically significantly different within groups, across time points, or between groups,” and concluded that larger “studies are needed to definitively determine if a digital physical activity intervention improves functional well-being among CRC survivors, and if the improvement can be sustained over time.”

Read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s coverage of the 2018 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium by visiting the conference page.


  1. Chan H, Van Loon K, Kenfield SA, et al. Effect of physical activity trackers and daily text messages on quality-of-life in colorectal survivors (Smart Pace): a pilot randomized controlled trial. Oral presentation at: 2018 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium; January 18-20, 2018; San Francisco, CA.