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  • William Johnston, BSc.H (Kinesiology)

Supervisor:

Dr. Scott A. Grandy

Program of Study:

MSc, Kinesiology

Project Title:

EXercise to prevent AnthraCycline-based Cardio-Toxicity (EXACT2.0) in individuals with breast cancer

Research Summary:

Although great progress has been made in treating breast cancer, long-term health may be compromised by cancer therapy. For example, some chemotherapy drugs are known to cause declines in heart health. Although chemotherapy is effective for the treatment of the patients’ breast cancer, some will experience substantial heart damage that may lead to heart failure and death. Although chemotherapy is highly effective in treating cancer, there is a need to find ways to reduce the damaging effects while not interfering with its anticancer potential. It is well-known that regular exercise can improve heart health and decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, animal studies have shown that exercise during chemotherapy can reduce the damaging effects of treatment on the heart. However, this has not yet been explored in a cancer patient population. The purpose of my project is to determine whether exercise can protect the hearts of women receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer. This work will help determine whether exercise can be used in the future to protect the hearts of those patients receiving chemotherapy.

Scholarships and/or Awards:

  • Cancer Research Training Program (CRTP) Traineeship Award 2021
  • CIHR & Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship

Career Aspirations:

In the short term, I would like to develop the technical and soft skills necessary to successfully coordinate clinical research in a cancer and chronic disease setting. In the long-term I would like to pursue my research interests in cancer therapies to improve the long-term survival rate post cancer-treatment as well as promoting health and exercise in all facets of life. To do this I intend to work towards my Ph.D., with the ultimate goal of pursuing a career in cancer research.

Location:

Dalhousie University

Publications:

Exercise to Reduce Anthracycline-Mediated Cardiovascular Complications in Breast Cancer Survivors. Sonu S Varghese, Will J Johnston, Cameron R Eekhoudt, Melanie R Keats, Davinder S Jassal, Scott A Grandy. Curr Oncol Oct 2021

The association between habitual posture and intensity-related physical activity with sympathetic neurohemodynamic transduction in young males. Myles W. O'Brien; Diane Ramsay; William Johnston; Derek Kimmerly, Ph.D. Clinical Autonomic Research. January 2021

Higher Cardiorespiratory Fitness is Associated with Attenuated Neurovascular Transduction in Young Males. Myles W. O’Brien, Diane Ramsay, William Johnston, Derek S. Kimmerly. Clinical Autonomic Research. April 2020.

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