Strength in Motion: Cancer Rehabilitation Program at the Vernon Cancer Center

Strength in Motion: Cancer Rehabilitation Program at the Vernon Cancer Center

The following professionally guided exercise classes are free of charge and appropriate for all fitness and energy levels. Come learn how to make exercise and fun and effective!

Exercise Screenings
Screening appointments are available on Wednesday between 8:30 and 10:30 am

Vernon Cancer Center
These informal screenings by a physical therapist provide an overall fitness assessment and recommendations for future exercise plans. The physical therapist can also refer patients for physical or occupational therapy for specific concerns.

Rehabilitation Exercise Class
When: Friday, 11:00 am – noon
Where: Department of Rehabilitation Services Small class size, rolling admission for 10-week sessions. This exercise class, led by a physical therapist, offers gentle aerobic exercise, strength training and stretching.

Shipley Fitness Center
When: Tuesday, 11:00 am – noon
Where: Shipley Fitness Center
Small class size, rolling admission for 10-week sessions. This class, led by an exercise physiologist at the Shipley Fitness Center, offers a more vigorous aerobic exercise, strength training and stretching. Personal training is also available.


Clinical Trials June 2011

New England Hematology/Oncology Associates, along with Newton-Wellesley Hospital’s Clinical Research Team, offers patients access to a variety of clinical trials of promising new therapies. Review the list below to find open protocols and consider referring your patients. The Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) is a national clinical research group.

As a clinical trials affiliate and CALGB affiliate of Dana-Farber/Partners CancerCare, Newton-Wellesley Hospital participates directly in DF/PCC-led clinical research. This allows our patients to have access to many of the same studies being conducted at Boston’s premier cancer research hospitals.

The network has made it possible for hundreds of cancer patients to enroll in clinical trials. People who had difficulty participating in trials because they lived far from Boston now have access to some of the latest investigational therapies at a hospital near them. Last year, the affiliates enrolled 160 patients in DF/PCC-sponsored trials and CALGB trials combined.

To learn more about eligibility and participation contact a member of the clinical research team.
Newton-Wellesley Hospital Office of Research Manager: Hope Violette, RPh, CIP | Phone: 617-243-6493 | Email
Newton-Wellesley Hospital Oncology Research Nurse: Kara Malcolm, RN | Phone: 617-243-5089 | Email
Newton-Wellesley Hospital Oncology Research Coordinator: Judy Chow | Phone: 617-243-6392 | Email
Medical Director of Oncology Research: Caroline Block, MD | Phone: 617-658-6000| Email

Breast Cancer

CALGB 40502 (Breast – Metastatic 1st Line)
Randomized phase III trial of weekly paclitaxel compared to weekly nanoparticle albumin bound nab-paclitaxel Phase III or ixabepilone, all combined with bevacizumab, as first -line therapy for locally recurrent or metastatic breast cancer. DF# 08-360. More Info…

CALGB 40601 (Breast – HER2-positive Neoadjuvant)
Randomized Phase III
Trial Of Paclitaxel Combined With Trastuzumab, Lapatinib, Or Both As Neoadjuvant Treatment Phase III Of Her2-Positive Primary Breast Cancer. DF# 08-370 More Info…

370CALGB 40603 (Breast – Triple Negative Neoadjuvant)
Randomized Phase II
2 X 2 Factorial Trial Of The Addition Of Carboplatin +/- Bevacizumab To Neoadjuvant Weekly Phase II Paclitaxel Followed By Dose dense AC In Hormone Receptor-Poor/Her2-Negative Resectable Breast Cancer. DF# 09-260. More Info…

DF 94-138 (Breast, Ovarian – Banking/Registry) Genetics and Other Causes of Cancer
The REACH project collects risk factor information, blood and tissue specimens from patients and family members at high risk for breast and/or ovarian cancer. The data and specimen bank will be used as a resource to be shared with researchers working in the areas of breast and ovarian cancer risk, prevention and treatment. DF# 94-138

GI Cancer

CALGB 80405 (Colon – Metastatic)
A Phase III Trial of Irinotecan / 5-FU / Leucovorin or Oxaliplatin / 5-FU / Leucovorin with Bevacizumab, or Cetuximab Phase III (C225) for Patients with Untreated Metastatic Adenocarcinoma of the Colon or Rectum. DF# 05-449 More Info…

Lung Cancer

CALGB 30704 (NSCLC – 2nd Line treatment)
A Randomized Phase II Study To Assess The Efficacy Of Pemetrexed Or Sunitinib Or Pemetrexed Plus Sunitinib In Phase II The Second-Line Treatment Of Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. DF# 08-144 More Info…


CALGB 50501 (Lymphoma – Treatment)
A Phase II Trial Of Bortezomib and Lenalidomide For Relapsed or Refractory Mantle Cell Lymphoma DF# 08-066 More Info…

Click below to see more information about the active clinical trials:

Oncology Research Summer Newsletter 2010

Oncology Research Winter Newsletter 2010

Oncology Research Spring 2011

Programs That Get You Moving

Several programs for cancer patients and cancer survivors now add the benefit of exercise to getting together and drawing support from other patients. These vary from low-intensity classes to true outdoor adventures.

Below are some of our favorite activity-based programs in the Boston area.

1. We Can Row is a wellness and recovery program for breast cancer survivors. Founded in 2002, WeCanRow-Boston is the original chapter of the National WeCanRow program, which has affiliates across the country. The program was founded in 2002 by Olympic gold medalist, Holly Metcalf, who heads the National WeCanRow program. We Can Row is specifically designed to allow breast cancer survivors to reorient themselves with their bodies, giving women a sense of control and putting them in contact with other breast cancer survivors. Rowing helps survivors to re-build physical strength and mental focus, renew self-image and develop the bond of teamwork with women who have had similar cancer experiences.

The goals of the program are to help women:

  • Recover from breast cancer
  • Develop healthy and strong bodies
  • Become active participants in their own recovery
  • Assert control over their bodies
  • Rediscover the joy of movement
  • Contribute to a mutually empowering recovery team

From April through October, the program rows on Tuesday evenings on the Charles River out of the Community Rowing boathouse on Nonantum Road in Brighton, MA. During the winter, WCR-B rows in indoor tanks at Simmons College in Boston. Currently, the program practices on Tuesday evenings from 6:00 to 8:30 pm. In order to accommodate new rowers, we organize start dates throughout the year.

WeCanRow-Boston, Inc. is an official charity in the state of Massachusetts and is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

2. Casting For Recovery

Casting for Recovery was founded in 1996 in Manchester, Vermont, the unique brainchild of a breast cancer reconstructive surgeon and a professional fly fisher. It began as a local grassroots group with a big heart and an original national vision, and quickly received endorsements from medical and psycho-social experts for its innovative healing program model while at the same time provoking intense interest by national media.

Casting for Recovery was founded on the principles that the natural world is a healing force and that cancer survivors deserve one weekend — free of charge and free of the stresses from medical treatment, home, or workplace — to experience something new and challenging while enjoying beautiful surroundings within an intimate, safe, and nurturing structure.

The program provides opportunity for women whose lives have been profoundly affected by the disease to gather in a natural setting and learn the sport of fly fishing. Just as importantly, the retreats offer an opportunity to meet new friends, network, exchange information, and have fun.

The weekend retreats incorporate counseling, educational services, and the trained facilitators that staff each retreat, including a psycho-social therapist, a health care professional (e.g. physical therapist, nurse), as well as fly-fishing instructors and river helpers.

Casting for Recovery offers free, 2½ day retreats for 14 participants, the maximum number recommended for small group dynamics as well as for educational and psycho-social benefits. Fly-fishing instruction is the means used to help women gain skills to cope with recovery from breast cancer.

While the fundraising burden of offering healing retreats at no cost to participants and asking volunteers to run state programs is enormous, Casting for Recovery has inspired the generous and loyal support of donors large and small, and continues to believe in its mission of providing women with powerful tools for healing at no expense to them.

To read more about this program, read Dave Caldwell’s article in the New York Times from November 2010.

3. Lebed exercises:

The Lebed method is a movement and exercise program that focuses on the lymphatic system, which is sometimes affected during cancer treatment. The class uses simple exercises to help prevent lymphedema and neuropathy, from blowing bubbles to gentle resistance stretches, and finishes up with a fun chorus-line routine.

The Lebed exercises at Newton-Wellesley Hospital are run by Linda Dudis, PT. They are held on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to 7:30 pm at the Allen Riddle Living Room (part of the hospital campus). The classes are ongoing (you can join at any time) and are free of charge. They are open to patients with breast cancer as well as any cancer patients.

Further information about the program and schedule for these weekly classes can be obtained by calling Linda at the Newton-Wellesley Hospital Rehabilitation Department at 617-243-6172.

4. Yoga

Newton-Wellesley Hospital’s Vernon Cancer Center offers low-cost yoga classes for cancer patients who are in active treatment. There are weekly classes in both the morning and afternoon.

The morning class is held at 11:00 am on Wednesday mornings. The afternoon class is held at 3:00 pm on Thursdays. The first class is free of charge; each additional session is $5. Classes are led by Ann Knocke, PT, MS.

Classes include practice in movement, relaxation, imagery, breathing, meditation, centering and integrating practice into daily life. Our experienced clinical instructor specializes in yoga for cancer patients. All fitness levels are welcome.

For more information call: 617-219-1230

5. Livestrong at the YMCA – Boston area programs

LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is a free-of charge twelve-week, small group program designed for adult cancer survivors looking to improve their overall health and well-being through programs which build mind body & spirit.

The program’s goal is to help participants build muscle mass and muscle strength, increase flexibility and endurance and improve functional ability. Additional goals include reducing the severity of therapy side effects, preventing unwanted weight changes and improving energy levels and self esteem. A final goal of the program is to assist participants in developing their own physical fitness program so they can continue to practice a healthy lifestyle, not only as part of their recovery, but as a way of life. In addition to the physical benefits, the program provides participants a supportive environment and a feeling of community with their fellow survivors, YMCA staff and members.

There are currently two locations of this program in Boston:

Charles River YMCA
380 Chestnut St, Needham, MA 02492

West Roxbury YMCA
15 Bellvue St, West Roxbury, MA 02132

Email contact for both locations:

If you are interested in exploring any of these programs, contact the staff at the above links and enjoy your new activity!