Parent Page: Research Centers & Labs id: 25674 Active Page: OUHSC/SCC Cancer Rehabilitation Research Labid:26373

Cancer Rehabilitation Research Laboratory (CRRL) at the OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center

hileAs a team of cancer rehabilitation clinician researchers and exercise specialists, we partner with cancer survivors and their oncology treatment teams, to study best clinical practices for side-effect screening, and rehabilitative interventions to optimize physical function from the time of cancer diagnosis onward.

Our Location: CRRL is housed in the NCI-accredited OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center on OUHSC campus.  Our faculty are affiliated with the College of Allied Health Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, and the OUHealth Stephenson Cancer Center. 

What We Do: As rehabilitation researchers, we conduct cancer survivorship and supportive care research.  We focus on survivors during the active treatment phase of their cancer journey, whether receiving surgery, radiation, or pharmacologic therapies.  We quantify the impact of cancer on mobility-related physical function, activities, and participation, using patient-reported outcomes and tests of physical performance.  We prioritize low-burden assessments that remain feasible throughout treatment, but with high-tech innovations such as wearable motion sensors.  In addition, we design and study rehab-related approaches to maintaining or restoring mobility, for optimal physical function and quality of life in cancer survivorship. 

  • CRRL assessments & interventions focus on:
    • Earlier detection, and even prevention, of cancer-related side-effects.
    • Mitigation of cancer-related acceleration of aging, and activation of adverse immune and inflammatory conditions.
    • Enhancement of functional strength and muscle quality during the active treatment phase.
    • Prevention of balance and gait decline, and the onset of cancer-related falls.  
    • Maintenance and restoration of daily activities & life participation.

Bolus-dosed Cancer Prehabilitation with Hi-FiVE™

(High Frequency, High Volume Exercise for Cancer Prehabilitation; OUHSC Intellectual Property Disclosure D2019-0444 on Sept 25, 2019, Provisional Patent in Preparation)

Related studies:    
  • Prehabilitation for Pancreaticoduodenectomy: Hi-FiVE-PD
  • Prehabilitation for Chemotherapy in Ovarian Cancer > Age 70: Hi-FiVE-O
  • Prehabilitation for Colorectal Cancer Resection in Frail Adults: Hi-FiVE-CRC


Chemotherapy-induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN): Early Detection, Impact on QoL

Related studies: 
  • Longitudinal Assessment of Balance and Mobility during Taxane Chemotherapy for Women’s Cancers: CIPN-F
  • Clinical Assessment of Balance and Mobility in Healthy Young, Mid-life, and Older Adults: BSWAID-NC
  • Development of a Portable Device to Quantify Great Toe Strength in Patients with Neurogenic Weakness:  U.S. Patent Application #16915956 Apparatus and Method for Measuring Toe Flexion and Extension Strength.  (Confirmation #5243, Received 29-JUN-2020)

Equipment in our Lab

Food device

  • Tekscan® Strideway™ Gait Analysis System (Tekscan, Inc. South Boston, MA)
  • APDM Opal Sensors and Mobility Lab Software (APDM, Inc. Portland, OR)
  • InBody 770 Body Composition Analyzer (InBody USA. Cerritos, CA)
  • Keiser® A300 Leg Press with Six-Rep Peak Power Test (Keiser Corporation. Fresno, CA)
  • Wearable Physical Activity Monitors: Actigraph GT9X Link with ActiLife Software (ActiGraph, LLC. Pensacola, FL)
  • SliceOMatic 5.0 Body Composition Analysis Software and ABACS module (TomoVision. Ontario, CA)
  • Interacoustics EyeSeeCam video Head Impulse Testing (vHIT) (Interacoustics. Eden Prairie, MN)
  • Cervical Range of Motion Instrument (CROM)
  • JAMAR Digital Grip and Pinch Dynamometers
  • Lafayette Hand-held Dynamometer (Lafayette Instrument® Lafayette, IN)
  • Prototype device for toe strength quantification
  • Equipment for Sensory Threshold Quantification: BioThesiometer (Biothesiometer USA), Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments, Baseline® Discrim-a-gon
  • Huntleigh Dopplex Ankle and Toe Pressure Kit: Digital handheld Doppler with toe plethysmography
  • DynaMap for vitals assessment
  • Portable ergometers
  • Adjustable dumbbells and ankle weights, elastic resistance bands
  • REDCap®

Our Team

Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Hile PT, PhD
Dr. Hile has been at the OUHSC since 2014.  She completed a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, and post-doctoral training in mobility and aging research at the NIA P30 Pitt Pepper Center.  She also holds a Master of Science in Neuromuscular Physical Therapy, and Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry. Dr. Hile also directs the linked Cancer Rehabilitation Clinic at the OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center, specializing in prospective and prehabilitative service models.  As a licensed physical therapist (PT), she is a Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT) and Board-certified in Neurologic Physical Therapy.  Dr. Hile views her career as an opportunity to serve cancer survivors through translational research and clinical administration. 

Program Manager/ Senior Research Coordinator: Fox
Ashley Fox has held Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) certified personal trainer and certified group fitness instructor certifications for over 6 years, and is finishing a yoga4Cancer certification. Ashley completed a M.S. in Exercise Physiology at OU Norman, and was voted by students among the top 10% of Graduate Teaching Assistants.   Ashley also earned a B.S. in Human Health and Performance at the University of Tennessee.  Her exercise training experience ranges from D2 athletes to geriatrics.  Ashley plans to pursue a PhD focused on the impact of exercise prescription on cancer survivors’ quality of life and cancer recurrence. 

PT Interventionist: Rachel Neuhold PT, DPT, CES

PT Interventionist: Desirae Woodford PT, DPT, CLT

Research Coordinator: Abby Cha
Abby Cha holds a B.S. from the University of Oklahoma, where she majored in Health and Exercise Science and minored in Biology. Abby joined the SCC CRRL team in 2020, as a Student Research Assistant while also serving as a Teaching Assistant for the Human Physiology course on the OU Norman campus. Abby enjoys learning about the human body, and loves to help others. 


Our Collaborators

  • TOP Lab
    PI: Hongwu Wang
  • SCC Pancreatic Cancers Surgical Team
    Drs. Katherine Morris, Ajay Jain, Barish Edil
  • SCC Gynecologic Oncology Team
    Drs. Katie Moore, Joan Walker
  • SCC Colorectal Cancers Surgical Team
    Drs. Katherine Morris, Kristina Booth, Gary Dunn, Stephen Carter
  • Translational Scientists for Serum/Tissue Assays
    Drs. Min Li, Kar-Ming Fung, Bumsoo Ahn
  • Nutrition Scientists and Clinical Researchers
    Dr. Jennifer Graef
    Dr. Leah Hoffman

Our Current/ Past Trainees

Coming soon...

Current and Past Funding Support for our Lab

  • Presbyterian Health Foundation (PHF)
    • Clinician Scientist Development Award
    • Equipment Grant
    • PHF/ OUHSC College of Allied Health New Investigator Seed Grant
  • Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) 
  • Pilot funding and Core resources provided through the National Cancer Institute Cancer Center Support Grant P30CA225520 awarded to the University of Oklahoma Stephenson Cancer Center.