Exercise Program May Improve Cancer Treatment Outcomes

The research team looked at tumor samples, CT scans, and immune markers from the patients, finding that those who had taken part in the exercise program showed a better response to the chemotherapy.

A moderate exercise program could improve the success of chemotherapy treatment in patients with oesophageal cancer, according to results from a Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust study.

The research included 40 patients with oesophageal cancer and showed that exercise can be safely included as a part of cancer treatment program. Further, moderate exercise was shown to reduce some of the negative effects of chemotherapy on fitness, which could help make chemotherapy an option for more patients. The results indicate that a larger study is necessary to confirm the findings, according to the study authors.

The trial looked at the impact of “prehabilitation” exercise, which is a guided exercise program in which patients received regular training sessions before and during their chemotherapy treatment. The patients were also provided with instructions on how to continue the exercise program at home.

These patients were compared with a group of patients who had a similar age and clinical status before the chemotherapy. The research team looked at tumor samples, CT scans, and immune markers from the patients, finding that those who had taken part in the exercise program showed a better response to the chemotherapy.

“This is a small study, but a promising one, as it shows how a moderate exercise program could help to improve the success of chemotherapy treatment,” said Andrew Davis, consultant in upper gastrointestinal surgery at Guy’s and St Thomas’s, in a press release. “We want to confirm this effect in further studies, but conceivably this may benefit patients with other types of cancer and be a cost-effective way to improve the effectiveness of treatment.”

The study had limitations, including a small patient population and patients were allocated based on whether they lived in the region where exercise sessions took place versus random assignments.

REFERENCE

Exercise programme could improve cancer treatment outcomes. NIHR. February 2, 2022. Accessed February 2, 2022. https://www.guysandstthomasbrc.nihr.ac.uk/2022/02/02/exercise-programme-could-improve-cancer-treatment-outcomes/