About the Neo-ACT trial

Physical exercise during neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer as a means to increase pathological complete response rates: the randomized Neo-ACT trial.

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) is increasingly used in breast cancer. The best proof of NACT efficacy is pathological complete response (pCR), i.e. the absence of invasive tumour on post-NACT on surgical histopathology. While it is known that physical exercise can help patients to better tolerate often harsh cancer treatments, it is an emerging area of research to understand if and how exercise exerts anti-tumour effects and improves oncological outcomes.

The main aim of the Neo-ACT trial is to examine if a physical exercise intervention during NACT can increase pCR rates in breast cancer. Secondary aims are to evaluate long-term disease-related outcomes (i.e., overall survival, relapse-free and distant metastasis-free survival), patient-reported outcomes (health-related quality of life, level of functioning), cancer treatment-related toxicities (i.e., cardiovascular toxicity, cognitive dysfunction, chemotherapy completion rates) and to perform translational analyses to further elucidate biological processes on how physical exercise affects tumor metabolism.

790 patients with primary invasive breast cancer will be randomized to either a 6-month individualised intervention of high-intensity interval and resistance training supported by an exercise app, or usual care.