Nutrition and Exercise Studies for Breast Cancer

An active lifestyle and a healthy diet can help you feel more energetic, control your weight, help you sleep better, and reduce your risk of many diseases. Researchers at UC San Diego Health are interested in discovering the effects of innovative diet and exercise programs on breast cancer survivors as well as women who are at risk for breast cancer.

Select a study below to find out if you're eligible, and to see details and contact information.

Studies for Breast Cancer Survivors

Memory & Motion

Researchers at UC San Diego Health are conducting a study on whether increasing exercise can improve things like memory, attention, and concentration in women who have had breast cancer. Women in this study will be randomly assigned (like flipping a coin) to one of two study arms: a 3-month exercise program or a 3-month wellness program.  Women in the exercise program will work with study staff to increase their physical activity.  

The Memory & Motion Study is looking for breast cancer survivors who:

  • Were diagnosed in the past 5 years with Stage I, II,  or III breast cancer
  • Do NOT exercise regularly
  • Are interested in increasing their physical activity
  • Have access to the internet

For more information, please contact Emily Myers at (858) 534-9519 or

Studies for Breast Cancer Patients

The ACT Study: Activity in Treatment

Interested in learning about your activity and sleep during chemotherapy for breast cancer?

The ACT Study is looking for breast cancer patients who:

  • Are about to begin chemotherapy at a UC San Diego clinic
  • Have access to a computer
  • Are willing to wear a Fitbit activity, sleep, and heart rate monitor during treatment

For more information, please contact Sandahl Nelson at (858) 822-2988 or

Closed studies

MENU (Metabolism, Exercise and Nutrition)

Examines the differences among three diets of differing composition on weight loss and cancer biomarkers

  • Healthy, overweight women
  • Over 21 years of age
  • BMI (body mass index) higher than 30, less than 40
  • Willing and able to participate in clinic visits, group sessions, and telephone and Internet communications at specified intervals
  • Able to provide data through questionnaires and by telephone
  • Willing to allow blood collections
  • No known allergy to tree nuts
  • Able to be physically active

For more information on the MENU study please contact Elizabeth Quitana, MS, RD, at 858-822-6162 or

Reach for Health

For breast cancer survivors who are interested in weight loss and helping researchers test the effects of a medication called metformin, which may help reduce breast cancer recurrence and increase survival rates. The medication is currently used for diabetes, but can be safely taken by non-diabetics. The study is looking for breast cancer survivors who:

  • Were diagnosed in the previous five years with Stage I-III breast cancer
  • Were post-menopausal at the time of breast cancer diagnosis
  • Are able to communicate dietary and physical activity data via telephone
  • Are interesting in learning more about a healthy lifestyle

For more details on participating in Reach for Health, contact Jesica Oratowski Coleman, 858-822-3311.

ENERGY (Exercise and Nutrition to Enhance Recovery and Good Health for You)

Explores the role of diet and exercise in female breast cancer survivors who are at risk for recurrence.

  • Four-year study
  • At least 21 years old
  • Overweight
  • Diagnosed with Stage I-III breast cancer within the previous five years and have completed their initial treatment
  • Willing and able to attend group meetings and maintain contact with investigators for two years
  • Able to be physically active
  • Not currently enrolled in another nutrition or weight loss study

For more Information on ENERGY, please contact (858) 822-2779 or or visit

HELP (Healthy Eating & Living Program for Weight Control)

Aims to reduce breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women through lifestyle change, using Internet-enhanced telephone counseling intervention.

  • Two-year study
  • Women between the ages of 45 to 70
  • Overweight
  • Able to increase their physical activity and improve their diet
  • Must have high-speed Internet access
  • Able to attend four appointments at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center

For more information on participating in the HELP study, call 858-822-2895, e-mail, or visit