Article

EXERCISE in pediatric autologous stem cell transplant patients: a randomized controlled trial protocol.

BMC Cancer (Impact Factor: 3.32). 09/2012; 12(1):401. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2407-12-401
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is an intensive therapy used to improve survivorship and cure various oncologic diseases. However, this therapy is associated with high mortality rates and numerous negative side-effects. The recovery of the immune system is a special concern and plays a key role in the success of this treatment. In healthy populations it is known that exercise plays an important role in immune system regulation, but little is known about the role of exercise in the hematological and immunological recovery of children undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplant. The primary objective of this RCT is to study the effect of an exercise program (in- and outpatient) on immune cell recovery in patients undergoing an autologous stem cell transplantation. The secondary objective is to determine if an exercise intervention diminishes the usual deterioration in quality of life, physical fitness, and the acquisition of a sedentary lifestyle. METHODS: This randomized-controlled trial (RCT) has received approval from The Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board (CHREB) of the University of Calgary (Ethics ID # E-24476).Twenty-four participants treated for a malignancy with autologous stem cell transplant (5 to 18 years) in the Alberta Children's Hospital will be randomly assigned to an exercise or control group. The exercise group will participate in a two-phase exercise intervention (in- and outpatient) from hospitalization until 10 weeks after discharge. The exercise program includes strength, flexibility and aerobic exercise. During the inpatient phase this program will be performed 5 times/week and will be supervised. The outpatient phase will combine a supervised session with two home-based exercise sessions with the use of the Wii device. The control group will follow the standard protocol without any specific exercise program. A range of outcomes, including quantitative and functional recovery of immune system, cytokine levels in serum, natural killer (NK) cells and their subset recovery and function, and gene expression of activating and inhibitory NK cell receptors, body composition, nutrition, quality of life, fatigue, health-related fitness assessment and physical activity levels will be examined, providing the most comprehensive assessment to date. DISCUSSION: We expect to find improvements in immunological recovery and quality of life, and decreased acquisition of sedentary behavior and fitness reconditioning. The comprehensive outcomes generated in this RCT will provide preliminary data to conduct a multisite study that will generate more potent outcomes.Trial registrationGov identification # NCT01666015.

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    ABSTRACT: Low levels of physical activity, musculoskeletal morbidity and weight gain are commonly reported problems in children with cancer. Intensive medical treatment and a decline in physical activity may also result in reduced motor performance. Therefore, simple and inexpensive ways to promote physical activity and exercise are becoming an increasingly important part of children's cancer treatment. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of active video games in promotion of physical activity in children with cancer. The research is conducted as a parallel randomized clinical trial with follow-up. Patients between 3 and 16 years old, diagnosed with cancer and treated with vincristine in two specialized medical centers are asked to participate. Based on statistical estimates, the target enrollment is 40 patients. The intervention includes playing elective active video games and, in addition, education and consultations for the family. The control group will receive a general recommendation for physical activity for 30 minutes per day. The main outcomes are the amount of physical activity and sedentary behavior. Other outcomes include motor performance, fatigue and metabolic risk factors. The outcomes are examined with questionnaires, diaries, physical examinations and blood tests at baseline and at 2, 6, 12 and 30 months after the baseline. Additionally, the children's perceptions of the most enjoyable activation methods are explored through an interview at 2 months. This trial will help to answer the question of whether playing active video games is beneficial for children with cancer. It will also provide further reasoning for physical activity promotion and training of motor skills during treatment.Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01748058 (October 15, 2012).
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