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Exercise Training in Childhood Cancer (FORTEe)

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Get strong to fight childhood cancer: An exercise intervention for children and adolescents undergoing anti-cancer treatment



  • Contact name

    Peter Wright

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    Oxford Brookes University

  • Identifier


  • Identifier

    DRKS00027978, German Clinical Trials Register; U1111-1273-6426, Universal Trial Number

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    2 years, 2 months, 30 days

  • Research summary

    The FORTEe Project is currently the world’s largest clinical trial into exercise training for paediatric oncology patients. The project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 945153 and involves 16 institutions from 8 European countries. OUH is the only UK recruitment site within the consortium. The project has already received ethical and data protection approval by the lead partner Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz (University hospital of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz). A joint controllership agreement has been established between all relevant partners.
    Cancer is the first leading cause of death by non-communicable diseases in children in Europe. During cancer treatment, patients’ morbidity is increased due to physical inactivity, cancer-related fatigue (CRF) and reduced health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Adapted exercise training in cancer patients, called exercise oncology, is an increasingly recognised, promising health care intervention. In adults, exercise oncology revealed notable effects on tolerance and completion rate of cancer treatment. However, in childhood cancer patients, strong evidence for exercise efficiency is lacking. Thus, exercise training is not part of standard care in paediatric oncology and does not reach the majority of patients. By pooling the leading expertise on a European level, the FORTEe project aims to evaluate a personalised and standardised exercise intervention for children and adolescents undergoing anti-cancer treatment. In the present randomised, controlled FORTEe trial, high evidence for an innovative, patient-centred exercise treatment will be generated. FORTEe promotes exercise oncology that aims at making patients “stronger to fight childhood cancer”. Supervised exercise training intends to increase muscle strength and reduce muscular atrophy due to bedrest. CRF and HRQoL can be improved and in the future, these benefits may help to fight childhood cancer by increasing therapy efficiency and survival rate. Within the project, digital, innovative technologies such as augmented reality will be developed and applied to make the exercise training more effective, age-adapted and personalised. Moreover, FORTEe will stimulate translational research to provide access to paediatric exercise oncology as a new health care intervention. As a progress beyond the current state-of-the-art, FORTEe has the ambition to implement paediatric exercise oncology as an evidence-based standard in clinical care for all childhood cancer patients across the EU and beyond.

    Overall expected outcomes from the FORTEe project are: :
    1. Evaluate the effects of personalised exercise training in paediatric oncology
    2. Stimulate translational research to improve access to exercise training as new healthcare intervention in paediatric oncology across Europe
    3. Transfer of expert knowledge to patient care across European countries in a time-efficient manner
    4. Optimise exercise therapy in European healthcare to exploit the potential of adapted exercise training in improving resilience in patients
    5. Promote the ethical responsibility to provide access to exercise and physical activity to everybody
    6. Ameliorate social sustainability through equal opportunities and better social participation thanks to better social and physical wellbeing resulting from exercise training
    7. Refine digital management of exercise therapy in a clinical setting to support the digital transformation of health and care
    8. Teaching of expert knowledge in exercise therapy to healthcare providers over Europe
    9. Create new care pathways such as supervised home training for patients using digital, innovative technologies to increase the access to precision exercise training to more patients while maintaining physical distancing/isolation measures

  • REC name

    South Central - Hampshire A Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    10 Jun 2022

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion