Participating in PRIMe

Who can participate in this study?

  • Patients recently diagnosed with stage II, III or IV colorectal cancer at the Cross Cancer Institute – Edmonton, AB.
  • Able to complete Baseline measurements within two weeks of starting anti-cancer treatment (if applicable)
  • Between 18-85 years of age
  • Able to communicate in English

What would I have to do in this study?
You will receive instructions to follow a healthy diet containing a specific amount of protein over 12 weeks. The study involves 4 visits to the Human Nutrition Research Unit at the University of Alberta.  You will also be contacted on a weekly basis to check in on questions related to your diet and any symptoms that may affect your food intake.

What are the possible treatments?
All participants will be randomly (by chance) assigned to one of two groups in the study.

Group A: A diet containing 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
Group B: A diet containing 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.

You will receive detailed instructions to follow your diet. We will contact you on a regular basis to assist with your nutritional plan.

What can I expect on my visits to the research unit?
The figure below shows the timeline for the PRIMe Study as well as the assessments that are performed during each visit.


Orientation visit: 

At this first visit, the study will be fully explained to you and you can decide if you would like to participate. For those participating, we will then do a 1-hour assessment to determine your caloric needs. A questionnaire relating to your contact information, demographics and medical history will also be completed.

Baseline Visit: 

During this visit, we will measure your body composition (i.e. amount of muscle and fat), your physical function, and collect a fasting blood sample.  We will measure your energy needs for a full day (24 hours*) in the Whole Body Calorimetry Unit. You will also receive your initial consult with a registered dietitian to receive instructions for your diet.

Week 6: 

Many of the assessments from the baseline visit will be repeated; however, instead of measuring your energy needs for a full day, we will only perform a 1-hour assessment of your energy needs. You will receive a follow-up consult with the registered dietitian and adjustments will be made to your diet if needed.

Week 12: This is the final visit where we will repeat all of the measurements that were done at the baseline visit, including measurements of body composition, physical function, energy needs for a full day (24 hours*) and the collection of a fasting blood sample. You will receive a final consult with the registered dietitian for feedback and results.

*Note: Talk to the PRIMe Study Team for alternatives to the 24 hour energy expenditure assessments.