Project Hope

Project Hope

What is Project HOPE?

Project HOPE stands for the Project on Heart Disease and Osteoporosis Prevention Efficacy. The study's goal is to examine the effects of an internet-based eating and exercise program on heart and bone health outcomes in 40 women who have had surgical removal of their ovaries after discovery of a BRCA gene mutation. The intervention uses Lean Eating for Women, which has been pilot tested by our study team among young breast cancer survivors. Six months into the pilot, young breast cancer survivors (mean age 43) lost an average of 5.3% of their body weight, which is comparable to other web-based interventions conducted in healthy populations.

Project HOPE has now closed for recruitment.

If you carry a BRCA mutation, have been treated for breast cancer, have undergone surgery for removal of your ovaries, and are ready to lose a little weight, you may be eligible for this 14-month exercise and weight loss study.

Over the period of 14 months ALL Project HOPE participants will:

  • Complete clinical assessments at the University of Pennsylvania at the beginning and end of the study (transportation costs will be covered for those living 75 miles or more from Philadelphia)
  • Complete surveys via phone or e-mail throughout the study
  • Attend a one hour lymphedema education session webinar led by Dr. Kathryn Schmitz (Principal Investigator)

HALF of participants will be randomly selected to:

HALF of participants will be randomly selected to:

  • Make no major changes to eating, exercise and sleep habits for 1 year
  • Join the web-based weight loss program Lean Eating for Women AFTER the study

The process used to place participants into groups will be random (like the flip of a coin). Once a participant is placed in a group it will not be possible to change groups.

Contact us at if you have questions about eligibility, or click the button above to see if you are eligible to participate.

Project HOPE is being conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CCEB) and is funded by the The Basser Research Center for BRCA.

Principal Investigator: Kathryn Schmitz, PhD, MPH
Co-Investigators: Mary B. Leonard, MD, MSCE; Susan Domcheck, MD; David Sarwer, MD; Linda Jacobs, PhD, ONP
Study Coordinator/Recruitment Coordinator: Lorraine Dean, ScD
Measurement Coordinator/Biospecimen Specialist: Domenick Salvatore, BS
Participant Coordinator/Recruiter: Jessica Kane, BS