Bewegung & Krebs

BEATE - Study

Physical Activity and Progressive Muscle Relaxation as Adjuvant Treatment against Cancer-related Fatigue

In cooperation with the Women’s Hospital (Heidelberg University Hospital) and the Insitute of Sports and Sport Science (Heidelberg University).

Principal investigators:
Prof. Dr. Karen Steindorf, Prof. Dr. Andreas Schneeweiß

Co-Principal investigators:
Dr. Martina Schmidt, Prof. Dr. Cornelia Ulrich, PD Dr. Joachim Wiskemann


Cancer-Related Fatigue (CRF) is a multidimensional syndrome which occurs in the majority of cancer patients during anticancer treatment and potentially persists for many years after cure. Because of its multidimensionality, CRF is influenced by physical, psychological and also social factors. Summarized by an article of the Cochrane Collaboration, exercise is a promising intervention for the treatment of CRF in breast cancer patients, but nearly all studies in this field examined the effect of exercise against treatment-as-usual, mostly in group settings. Therefore, it is currently unknown if the beneficial effects are related to the physical training itself or caused by group-related psychosocial effects. The BEATE-Study was designed to evaluate the potential benefits of an exercise program beyond group-related psychosocial effects and to evaluate potential biologic mechanisms.
BEATE is a randomized controlled clinical trial, aimed to evaluate the effect of a high intensity, supervised and group-based resistance training on CRF in breast cancer patients during adjuvant chemotherapy, compared with a Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) program. Recruitment has begun in March 2010 and was completed in June 2013 with 101 patients. All participants were requested to fill out standardized questionnaires concerning fatigue, quality of life and depression. In addition, physical performance (endurance and strength capacity), activity history and cognitive capacity was assessed. Furthermore, blood, urine and saliva samples will be collected for multiple biomarker analyses (CRP, SAA, prostaglandins, cortisol and DNA-repair capacity). Data collection was performed at begin of the study (baseline), week 7, week 13 and week 26.  The interventions (2x/week, 24 sessions) started after baseline assessment and ended at week 12. Randomization (allocation in two groups “exercise” and “relaxing”) was performed by a PC program.


Prof. Dr. Karen Steindorf
Phone: +49 6221 42-2351 oder 56-5838

Dr. Martina Schmidt
Phone: +49 6221 42-2220


  • Klassen O, Schmidt ME, Ulrich CM, Potthoff K, Steindorf K, Wiskemann J. Muscle strength in breast cancer patients undergoing adjuvant therapy (accepted by J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle, Oct 2016)

  • Schmidt ME, Semik J, Habermann N, Wiskemann J, Ulrich CM, Steindorf K (2016): Cancer-related fatigue shows a stable association with diurnal cortisol dysregulation in breast cancer patients. Brain Behavior and Immunity 52:98-105 (Epub 0ct 2015)

  • Scharhag-R F, Kühl R, Klassen O, Schommer K, Schmidt ME, Wiskemann J, Steindorf K (2015): Exercise training intensity prescription in breast cancer survivors: validity of current practice and specific recommendations. J Cancer Surviv, 9:612-9. [Epub Feb 2015]

  • Schmidt ME, Wiskemann J, Armbrust P, Schneeweiss A, Ulrich CM, Steindorf K (2015): Effects of resistance exercise on fatigue and quality of life in breast cancer patients undergoing adjuvant chemotherapy: a randomized controlled trial. Int J cancer, 137:471-80 [Epub Dec 2014]

  • Klassen O, Schmidt ME, Scharhag-Rosenberger F, Sorkin M, Ulrich CM, Schneeweiss A, Potthoff K, Steindorf K, Wiskemann J (2014): Cardiorespiratory fitness in breast cancer patients undergoing adjuvant therapy. Acta Oncol. May 16:1-10.

  • Schmidt ME, Wiskemann J, Krakowski-Roosen H, Knicker A, Habermann N, Schneeweiss A, Ulrich N, Steindorf K (2013): Progressive resistance versus relaxation training for breast cancer patients during adjuvant chemotherapy: Design and rationale of a randomized clinical trial (BEATE study). Contemporary Clinical Trials, 34, 117-125