Healthy Living after Cancer (HLaC)

January 2014December 2018
National Health and Medical Research Council

Healthy Living after Cancer (HLaC) is a NHMRC Partnership Project between the New South Wales (NSW), Victoria (Vic.), South Australia (SA) and Western Australia (WA) Cancer Councils and SPH’s Cancer Prevention Research Centre, led by Professor Elizabeth Eakin. HLaC’s investigative team includes expert national and international investigators in the fields of behavioural, exercise and nutritional science, oncology, translational research, health service delivery, health economics, biostatistics and cancer consumer advocacy.

Lifestyle interventions for cancer survivors:  To date, despite an established evidence base, lifestyle interventions are not incorporated into routine cancer care. This project offers an internationally unique opportunity to advance the field of lifestyle interventions in cancer survivors - from effectiveness trials to dissemination and implementation evaluations - in order to inform wide-spread practice change. The specific aim of the project is to evaluate the integration of an evidence-based, broad-reach (telephone-delivered) lifestyle intervention for cancer survivors into the Helpline service delivery model currently offered by Cancer Councils in Australia. The overarching goal is for the HLaC program to be systematically integrated into survivorship care throughout Australia.

What is the Healthy Living after Cancer program?  Cancer survivors up to 5-years post-diagnosis and treatment will be referred into the program via a range of pathways, including: referral of patients by clinicians or allied health professionals at participating clinical sites; self-referral of interested patients who find out about the program through promotional material given to them by Cancer Council staff; and referral of survivors who contact the Cancer Council Helpline and are introduced to the program by Helpline Nurses. Cancer survivors who take part in the HLaC program will receive up to 12 telephone calls over a period of 6 months from a Cancer Council Helpline Nurse trained in the intervention protocol, along with a workbook. Consistent with recommendations for cancer survivors and chronic disease prevention, participants will be encouraged and supported to reduce saturated fat intake and increase fruit and vegetable intake, and to gradually increase moderate-intensity, planned exercise.

Improved survivorship care:  Evaluation of the program will involve primary outcomes related to HLaC program implementation, including cost-effectiveness, and secondary outcomes related to program effectiveness. It is expected that evidence from this dissemination study will lead to more effective integration of evidence into health policy and service delivery, and improve the survivorship care for all Australian cancer survivors.

Project members

Chief Investigators:

Professor Elizabeth Eakin, The University of Queensland
Professor Sandra Hayes, Queensland University of Technology
Professor Marion Haas University of Technology Sydney
Associate Professor Marina Reeves, The University of Queensland
Associate Professor Janette Vardy, The University of Sydney
Professor Frances Boyle, University of Sydney
Professor Janet Hiller, Swinburne University of Technology
Associate Professor Michael Jefford Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, University of Melbourne
Professor Bogda KoczwaraThe Flinders University of South Australia

Associate Investigators:

Mrs Anna Boltong, Cancer Council Victoria
Ms Kathy Chapman, Cancer Council NSW
Professor Kerry Courneya, University of Alberta, Canada
Professor Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Centre, USA
Professor Afaf Girgis, University of New South Wales
Ms Sandy McKiernan, Cancer Council WA
Professor Christobel SaundersUniversity of Western Australia
Associate Professor Kathryn Schmitz, University of Pennsylvania, USA
Mr Greg Sharplin, Cancer Council SA
Professor Kate White, University of Sydney

Project Coordinator

Erin Robson, The University of Queensland