24 U A B C O M P R E H E N S I V E C A N C E R C E N T E R

quick takes

UAB Study Hopes Vegetable Gardens Can Help Cancer Survivors

UAB researchers want to introduce breast cancer survivors to a new kind of therapy gardening. Harvest for Health pairs breast cancer survivors with a master gardener from the Alabama

Cooperative Extension System. Through the study, UAB provides tools and seedlings,

and will either prepare a raised bed in the yard of a survivor s home or provide EarthBoxes® 

large gardening containers on wheels that can be kept on a porch or patio. Master gardeners visit with the survivors twice a month for one year, offering advice, expertise and suggestions, while answering the questions new gardeners have.

Having a garden may help breast cancer survivors and their families eat better, get more exercise and become healthier,

says Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Ph.D., R.D., professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences and associate director for Cancer Prevention and Control at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. Studies have shown a link between diet and cancer, and between physical activity and cancer. We want to see how cancer survivors respond to this gardening intervention, as well as how it affects their diet and exercise behaviors, and their health-related quality of life and physical health status.

 The research team believes that Harvest for Health will be both fun and educational, while also motivating survivors to eat better. Preliminary results show improvement in physical function in many participants. They show improved strength, especially in their hands, improved mobility, and an increased ability to get up and down, Dr. Demark-Wahnefried says. That s an added benefit on top of better nutrition.  

The study is funded by a grant from the Women s Breast Health Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham. For more information, contact study organizers at (205) 996-7367 or harvest4health@uab.edu.

Robert Receives Distinguished Faculty Award

FRANCISCO ROBERT, M.D., professor of medicine

and senior scientist for the UAB Comprehensive

Cancer Center Experimental Therapeutics

Program, recently received the Albert F. LoBuglio

Distinguished Faculty Award for outstanding con-

tributions to the research mission of the Cancer

Center.

The award was presented by Edward Partridge,

M.D., Cancer Center director, at the center s annual

research retreat. Named for Albert F. LoBuglio,

who served as the Cancer Center s director for 21 years, the award is presented annually to a Cancer

Center investigator for outstanding research contributions.

Dr. Robert is an internationally recognized leader in the field of lung cancer research and has pub-

lished numerous articles on the research and treatment of the disease. He has been a member of the

UAB faculty since 1990.

FACULTY AWARD Distinguished