Cancer treatment-induced alterations in muscular fitness and quality of life: The role of exercise training

Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Institute, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado 80639, USA.
Annals of Oncology (Impact Factor: 7.04). 01/2008; 18(12):1957-62. DOI: 10.1093/annonc/mdm364
Source: PubMed


Cancer survivors experience muscular weakness and reduced mobility, thereby compromising quality of life. This investigation utilized moderate prescriptive exercise to improve upper- and lower-body muscular fitness, flexibility, depression and quality of life in cancer patients.
One hundred and thirty-five breast and prostate cancer survivors received cancer and medical history screening and a medical examination, as well as assessments of muscular strength (handgrip dynamometer) and endurance (bench press, lateral pull-down, leg press, shoulder press and curl-up crunch test), flexibility (Modified Sit and Reach), depression (Beck Depression Inventory) and quality of life (Quality of Life Index). Following the exercise assessments, cancer survivors trained in resistance exercise for 6 months during treatment or following treatment based on their results from the assessments and health status.
Cancer survivors following treatment showed significant (P = 0.006) improvements in upper-body muscular endurance (+46.8%), lower-body muscular endurance (+67.1%), core muscular endurance (+32.5%) and flexibility (+6.2%), with concomitant improvements (P = 0.013) in depression (-25.6%) and total quality of life (+7.2%). Cancer survivors during treatment showed significant (P = 0.012) improvements in upper-body muscular endurance (+79.1%) and lower-body muscular endurance (+49.7%) while maintaining core endurance and flexibility in conjunction with improvements (P = 0.022) in depression (-43.0%) and quality of life (+11.5%).
Moderate-intensity individualized prescriptive exercise is a safe and efficacious means to augment muscular function and improve the quality of life of cancer survivors.

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    • "Exercise could potentially be a promising intervention strategy for the prevention and treatment of cancer-related cachexia. With the ability to increase FFM, muscle strength and function, cardiovascular fitness and decrease fatigue, ultimately resulting in an increased quality of life, exercise may be an ideal strategy in helping to manage cancer-related cachexia [68, 69]. There is evidence to suggest that forms of exercise can be effective in slowing the progression of cachexia through several molecular mechanisms and anti-inflammatory effects [70–72]. "
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    Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle 12/2012; 4(2):111-124. DOI:10.1007/s13539-012-0096-0 · 7.32 Impact Factor
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    • "poor exercise tolerance, fatigue, depression and anxiety [1] [2] [3] [4]. The benefits of physical exercise for cancer patients are described in a series of studies [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11], most of which included patients with breast cancer and haematological neoplasias . The studies measured HRQOL and functional capacity and included patients groups with early stage disease. "
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    Lung cancer (Amsterdam, Netherlands) 08/2011; 75(2):203-8. DOI:10.1016/j.lungcan.2011.07.006 · 3.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Older individuals who have survived cancer and the commensurate treatment often experience a reduced quality of life in part due to their impaired muscular abilities and deficits in mobility. The purpose of this preliminary study was to determine the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of resistance exercise via negative, eccentrically induced work (RENEW) with older cancer survivors. Older cancer survivors with a perception of moderate muscle weakness and fatigue participated in 12 weeks of RENEW. Measures of feasibility included (1) the participant's ability to progress the total amount of work of RENEW; (2) whether peak knee extension torque production became impaired; and (3) whether RENEW induced leg muscle pain as measured on a visual analog scale. The preliminary measure of efficacy included the performance of a timed up-and-go mobility test. The participants significantly increased the total average work per week over the 12 weeks of RENEW. Participants increased (P < .001) their work approximately 3-fold from week 3 (7.6 [5.11 kJ) to week 12 (22.1 [14.8] kJ) without muscle pain over the 12-week RENEW training period. Knee extension peak torque production improved (11%) significantly (P = .02) (pretest: 248 [92] N; posttest: 275 [99] N) after 12 weeks of RENEW. The time to perform the up-and-go test improved (14%) significantly (P < .001) (pretest: 8.4 [2.7]; posttest: 7.2 [2.3] s) after 12 weeks of RENEW, suggesting preliminary efficacy. Collectively, RENEW appears feasible and potentially efficacious for older, weak, and fatigued cancer survivors. Implications for Cancer Survivors: The use of eccentric muscle exercise may be ideally suited for older cancer survivors due to its high force and low energetic-cost capabilities.
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