It is well known that physical activity can prevent cancer development, but the molecular mechanisms behind these effects are poorly understood. During exercise, extracellular vesicles (EVs) are released into the circulation and mediate tissue crosstalk with potential effects on tumour cells and the immune tumour microenvironment. The overall aim of CancerBeat is to characterise the molecular cargo of exercise-induced EVs and explore their effects on breast cancer (BC) progression in vitro and in vivo.
We plan to enrol two groups of study subjects – healthy endurance runners and BC patients, who will be randomized into training and standard-of-care groups.The BC training group will undergo aerobic exercise for the whole duration of neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Blood samples will be collected from all participants before and after exercise; in addition, tumour tissue specimens will be collected from BC patients. EVs will be isolated from the blood samples and their cargo will be analysed using RNA sequencing and proteomics, whereas their effects on cancer growth will be analysed using live cell imaging, RNA sequencing and energy metabolism studies.In addition, the effects of exercise-induced EVs on the development of cancer will be studied in murine models of cancer. We believe that the knowledge obtained in this project will lead to the identification of biomarkers that will help to define optimal dose, intensity and type of exercise for the prevention of BC, and open up new avenues for prevention and treatment of cancer.
This project will be implemented in collaboration among Latvian Biomedical Research and Study centre (BMC, Latvia), Oslo University Hospital (OUH, Norway), Latvian Academy of Sport Education (LASE, Latvia), National Cancer Institute (NCI, Lithuania) and National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics (NICPB, Estonia).