NCT Research



Prof. Dr. Karen Steindorf
Physical Activity, Prevention and Cancer (G210)
Im Neuenheimer Feld 460
69120 Heidelberg
Phone: +49 6221 42-2351

Effects of physical activity on cancer risk and prognosis


Division of Physical Activity, Prevention and Cancer


Our department has:

  • Shown, in two randomized controlled trials (BEST study, BEATE study) with over 260 breast cancer patients, that resistance training performed in parallel to the adjuvant chemo- or radiotherapy significantly reduced cancer-related fatigue.

  • Been awarded with the Claudia-von-Schilling Award 2015 for Breast Cancer Research and the Quality of Life Prize 2015 of the Lilly Foundation for these clinically highly relevant results. Fatigue represents a major burden for many patients even years after the diagnosis and there is a lack of remedies.

  • Based on the biomaterial collected in our randomized exercise interventions trials a translational research program has been set-up on possible biological mechanisms of exercise with a focus on fatigue and inflammatory and immunologic biomarkers.

  • A new project (MOMENTUM, funded by the German Cancer Aid) has been started to investigate major barriers for cancer patients for not being more active based on methods from the field of health psychology. This project should help to better promote exercise for cancer patients.

2014 – 2016

  • Steindorf K, Schmidt ME, Klassen O, Ulrich CM, Oelmann J, Habermann N, Beckhove P, Owen R, Debus J, Wiskemann J, Potthoff K (2014): Randomized Controlled Trial of Resistance Training in Breast Cancer Patients Receiving Adjuvant Radiotherapy: Results on Cancer-related Fatigue and Quality of Life. Annals of Oncology, 25, 2237-43.

  • Scharhag-Rosenberger F, Klassen O, Schmidt ME, Kühl R, Schommer K, Ulrich CM, Wiskemann J, Steindorf K (2015): Exercise intensity classification in breast cancer patients: A cross-sectional study with practical implications for training prescription. Journal of Cancer Survivorship, 9, 612-619.

  • Schmidt ME, Chang-Claude J, Vrieling A, Heinz J, Flesch-Janys D, Steindorf K (2015): Determinants of long-term fatigue in breast cancer survivors: Results of a prospective patient cohort study. Psychooncology, 24, 40-6.

  • Wiskemann J, Schmidt M, Klassen O, Debus J, Ulrich CM, Potthoff K, Steindorf K (2016): Effects of 12-week resistance training during radiotherapy in breast cancer patients. Scand J Med Sci Sports, in print.

  • 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.


  • Claudia-von-Schilling Award 2015 for Breast Cancer Research

  • Quality of Life Prize 2015 of the Lilly Foundation