Understanding the relationship between physical activity and bone health in people with bone metastases

Research Project Title

Ex-Met study (Exercise prescription in patients with bone metastases: Identifying Clinical tools to overcome clinician concerns regarding skeletal related events)


Exercise Oncology, Cancer, Exercise, Physical Activity, Bone Health


Cancer which has spread to the bone, causing bone metastases (bone tumours) can weaken bone health and increase risk of fractures (breaks). Consequently, people with bone metastases can be unsure whether to exercise and health professionals can be unsure what exercise advice is suitable for their patients. Despite this, it is well known that exercise improves quality-of-life for people with bone metastases and therefore it is important that exercise is prescribed when safe and suitable to do so.

Research Project

This study aims to increase understanding of the link between daily exercise and risk of fracture in people with bone metastases. The data collected will help assess the relationship between physical activity levels and bone health. The data will also help identify if clinical tools are helpful in identifying patients at lowest and highest risk of fracture with exercise. Study results will improve the information available to health professionals prescribing exercise and enhance the safety of exercise participation practice and advice for people with bone metastases.


February 2019 – July 2022

Research Team


Principal Investigator: Dr Emer Guinan                                                    School Office Medicine, Trinity College Dublin




Project Team: Dr Kate Devenney                                         Postdoctoral Researcher, Trinity College Dublin





This research was funded by the Irish Cancer Society and All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC).

For further information contact

Email: exerciseoncology@tcd.ie | Tel: +353 (0)1 896 2128

Email: info@aiihpc.org | Tel: +353 (0)1 491 2948

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Research Project Output


Guinan EM, Devenney K, Quinn C, Sheill G, Eochagáin CM, Kennedy MJ, McDermott R, Balding L. Associations Among Physical Activity, Skeletal Related Events, and Patient Reported Outcomes in Patients with Bone Metastases. Semin Oncol Nurs. 2022 Apr 15:151274. doi:10.1016/j.soncn.2022.151274. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35437198. [Accessed 27 April 2022]

Online webinar, held Nov 2020: Staying Active with Bone Metastases – What You Need to Know”

Exercise can play an important role in supporting quality of life and maximising physical abilities in people living with bone metastases. People living with bone metastases are often unsure if exercise is suitable for them and have questions about how to exercise safely. This webinar was delivered by two registered physiotherapists and discusses the benefits of exercise, specifically for people living with bone metastases. The webinar provides some tips and guidance as to how exercise and physical activity can be incorporated into daily life. This webinar is for people living with bone metastases and their family members. It is also suitable for health professionals and others with an interest in exercise for people living with bone metastases.  Proudly supported by the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care, the Irish Cancer Society and Trinity College Dublin.

Link to webinar: Staying Active with Bone Metastases

Download webinar slide deck here

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