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ECU graduate researching breast cancer internationally

Tuesday, 25 January 2011


Sports Science Graduate, Ms Zoe Gibbs is making a difference in her Kenyan hometown through an international scholarship awarded by ECU.

The funding provided by the scholarship has allowed Zoe to conduct research into the benefits of exercise in treating breast cancer patients, and in particular lymphedema, a common and debilitating side effect of cancer and its treatment. Trials are being run at Cancer Care Kenya Limited and her own family home.

There are currently 80 participants in the trial, which looks at both the effect of varying exercise in the reduction and management of lymphedema and analyses the physiological changes that occur by varying the start time of exercise in patients undergoing radiotherapy for breast cancer.

“Such relatively simple and cost effective interventions may be complimentary to commonly used drugs and treatments and offer a reduction in side effects,” said Ms Gibbs.

“The cost element is important for people in developing countries where medical costs can be a huge burden, and by developing a treatment that is both effective and affordable we can help change the lives of many of these patients.”

Zoe recently welcomed Vice-Chancellor of ECU, Professor Kerry Cox and the Director of Australian Education Consultants, Mr Mahul Shah to the centre to showcase her research.  

“It was a great honour to have Professor Cox and Mr Shah visit and hear about our progress, and I thank ECU for their ongoing support in making my research dream a reality.”

For more information on the research, email Zoe Gibbs on  


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