Webinar: Holistic Measures of Physical Functioning in Cancer

Suvekshya Aryal, a VivoSense Research scientist, moderated a live discussion about the holistic measurement of physical function in cancer and opportunities for digital health technologies to provide value.

Individuals living with cancer experience severely impacted health-related quality of life. Their ability to carry out activities of daily living is impaired by cancer and its treatments. There are various methods of understanding how a patient feels and functions in the disease and treatment.

Patient-reported outcomes can provide direct information on cancer-related symptoms and functioning and measure the benefit/risk of treatment in drug development. Objective measures of real-world physical behavior have the potential to complement established PROs and provide additional insights into daily functioning.

These measures can be captured remotely and continuously using digital health technologies such as wearable sensors. Digital measures could aid in developing treatments that improve the aspects of physical function that matter to individuals living with cancer. However, incorporating them in drug development necessitates an evidence-based approach and direct input from researchers, regulators, and patients throughout the process.

This webinar features a panel of stakeholders from different perspectives (pharma/industry, clinical, and digital health) to discuss holistic measurement of physical function in cancer and opportunities for digital health technologies to provide value.

What You Will Learn

Experts across diverse fields will emphasize the significance of comprehensive capture of physical functioning through direct patient input and patient-generated data, while also exploring how digital health technologies can enhance cancer treatments and patient outcomes.

To learn more, also review Suvekshya's American Society of Clinical Oncology's  JCO Clinical Cancer Informatics review article,Measuring What Is Meaningful in  Cancer Cachexia Clinical Trials: A Path Forward With Digital Measures of  Real-World Physical Behavior.


(MODERATOR) Suvekshya Aryal, Research Scientist, VivoSense Inc.

Suvekshya is a Research Scientist at VivoSense, currently focusing on understanding patients’ experience with cancer and its treatment and developing digital measures of physical functioning for integration into clinical trials. Suvu holds a master’s degree in public health and epidemiology and comes with extensive experience in clinical research.


Heather Leach, Associate Professor and Director of the Physical Activity for Treatment and Prevention Lab, Colorado State University

Dr. Leach, an associate professor and director of the Physical Activity for Treatment and Prevention Lab at Colorado State University, holds a B.S. in Exercise Science, an M.S. in Exercise Physiology, and a Ph.D. in Kinesiology. She completed postdoctoral fellowship training in physical activity for cancer survivorship at the University of Calgary and holds certifications as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist and Cancer Exercise Trainer. With over 15 years of experience, she specializes in promoting exercise among clinical populations and teaching exercise science-related courses. Her research, funded by organizations like the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute, focuses on understanding the social ecologic determinants of physical activity, assessing the benefits for cancer survivors, and translating intervention research into healthcare and community programs.


Thomas Switzer, Digital Health Scientist, Research and Early Development, Genentech

Tom is a Principal Scientist and the lead for digital health in Genentech’s Research and Early Development informatics group (gRED ECDi). He’s currently focused on developing technology platforms supporting molecule teams across Genentech’s early development portfolio. Tom has over 23 years of clinical development experience, including 9 years of experience in developing and deploying digital technologies in clinical trials. Beyond his daily responsibilities supporting ECD, he serves as a key Genentech representative in a variety in cross-industry digital health technology initiatives, including the Clinical Trial Transformation Initiative Digital Health Trials, the Digital Medicine Society, and Transcelerate. He has been at Genentech since 2010 serving in a variety of roles within clinical development. An exercise physiologist by training and an avid bicycle racer since he was 16, he has been continuously tinkering with various digital gadgets on himself before testing them on other people. He lives in San Mateo, CA with his wife Elizabeth and 4 young children.


Theresa Coles, Ph.D, Assistant Professor in Duke University School of Medicine's Department of Population Health Sciences

Theresa Coles, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in Duke University School of Medicine's Department of Population Health Sciences. As a health outcomes methodologist, she specializes in measuring and evaluating patient-reported outcomes (PROs) and other clinical outcomes assessments (COAs) to aid decision-making in healthcare delivery and clinical research settings. Dr. Coles’ research is centered on three key areas: (1) Enhancing the assessment of physical function and related concepts, (2) Improving the interpretability of PRO scores, and (3) Designing and implementing screeners to improve patient-centered care by measuring what matters. Dr. Coles employs qualitative and quantitative psychometric methodologies to answer measurement questions.


VivoSense Team

VivoSense Team

Real-World Measures, Real-World Results. Digital Biomarkers for Regulated Clinical Trials and Healthcare Research.

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