Random control clinical trial on the effects of aerobic exercise training on erythrocyte levels during radiation treatment for breast cancer

Cancer (Impact Factor: 4.89). 11/2006; 107(10):2490 - 2495. DOI: 10.1002/cncr.22267
Source: PubMed


Erythrocyte changes from aerobic exercise training were examined during radiation treatment of breast cancer.
Twenty sedentary females with breast carcinoma who were ages 35 to 65 years were randomized to aerobic exercise (AE) of walking for 20 to 45 minutes, 3 to 5 times per week, at 50% to 70% of measured maximum heart rates or to placebo stretching (PS) activities 3 to 5 days per week during 7 weeks of radiation treatment. Measures were obtained 1 week before and after the radiation regimen. Serum blood analyses, through complete blood counts, measured red blood cell counts (RBC), hematocrit (HCT), and hemoglobin (HB). Peak aerobic capacity (peak VO2) was measured by exercise testing with oxygen uptake analysis to assess training. A Wilcoxon Mann-Whitney U test examined changes between groups (P ≤ .05 for significance).
AE peak VO2 increased by 6.3% (P = .001) and PS decreased by 4.6% (P = .083). RBC increased in AE from 4.10 to 4.21 million cells/μL and declined in PS from 4.30 to 4.19 million cells/μL; the between-group differences were significant (P = .014). HCT increased in AE from 38.0% to 38.8% and declined in PS from 37.40% to 36.50%; the between-group differences were significant (P = .046). HB increased in AE from 12.3 to 12.4 g/dL and declined in PS from 12.25 to 11.77 g/dL; the between-group differences were significant (P = .009).
The results of the current study suggest that moderate intensity aerobic exercise appears to maintain erythrocyte levels during radiation treatment of breast cancer compared with the declines observed in nontraining individuals. These findings suggest a safe, economical method to improve fitness and maintain erythrocytes in women during radiation treatment of breast cancer. Cancer 2006.

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Available from: William Hryniuk, Feb 18, 2014
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    • "Small feasibility studies have demonstrated that the combination of exercise with a diet intervention could be more effective in reducing weight in breast cancer survivors [106] [107]. Exercise training during chemotherapy or radiation treatment for breast cancer at minimum can prevent the peak VO 2 decline occurring in usual care controls [71], or improve peak VO 2 [70] [72] [91] [108] [109]. Exercise training following completion of breast cancer treatment improves peak VO 2 [106] [110] [111]. "
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    • "The results of our study are consistent with those presented by Mustian et al. [21]. This improvement of aerobic capacity may be due to the changes in erythrocyte levels in the aerobic exercise group during radiation treatment of breast cancer, as observed by Drouin and co-authors [22]. As far as the fatigue intensification assessment after RT is concerned, our results confirm other authors’ observations [19, 21]. "
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