Marisa Bittoni, PhD

Marisa Bittoni, PhD

Ohio State University

Research Project:
Can Exercise Reduce Lung Cancer Risk?

Grant Awarded:

  • Lung Cancer Discovery Award

Research Topics:

  • basic biologic mechanisms
  • social behavioral research

Research Disease:

  • lung cancer

While most cases of lung cancer are related to smoking, studies have shown that lifestyle behaviors, such as diet and exercise, are also ​associated with developing lung cancer. Microbes that live in or on us (our microbiome) can also affect our health, including our lung cancer risk. Certain bacteria from these microbes may cause less or more bodily inflammation, which can also increase or decrease our cancer risk. We will examine whether a structured exercise program that includes weight training and aerobic activity, such as running/walking, will reduce the presence of early markers of lung cancer, such as inflammation and, in turn, whether it may affect the microbiome that exists in each of us. We will determine whether people who undergo the structured exercise intervention will have a lower risk of developing lung cancer by reducing inflammation and changing their microbes, which will also reduce their cancer risk.

Our BEFIT exercise study is progressing well as we approach our study launch. We will examine the feasibility and impact of conducting an exercise intervention in long-time smokers (30+ pack years) who are at high risk for lung cancer. Smokers are known to have lower BMI and are typically not avid exercisers, so this project will establish feasibility in conducting the study in this group and determine the impact of the intervention on lung cancer risk through biomarkers and the microbiome.

Page last updated: June 7, 2024

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