Exercise and cancer rehabilitation: A systematic review

Spence, Rosalind R., Heesch, Kristiann C. and Brown, Wendy J. (2010) Exercise and cancer rehabilitation: A systematic review. Cancer Treatment Reviews, 36 2: 185-194. doi:10.1016/j.ctrv.2009.11.003

Author Spence, Rosalind R.
Heesch, Kristiann C.
Brown, Wendy J.
Title Exercise and cancer rehabilitation: A systematic review
Journal name Cancer Treatment Reviews   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0305-7372
Publication date 2010-04-01
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.ctrv.2009.11.003
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 36
Issue 2
Start page 185
End page 194
Total pages 10
Editor N. Pavlidis
R. A. Stahel
Place of publication London, U.K.
Publisher W. B. Saunders
Language eng
Subject 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
920102 Cancer and Related Disorders
Abstract The beneficial effects of exercise in cancer patients are reasonably well-established, although research in this field has predominantly investigated cancer patients in the earlier stages of disease. However, the most recent evidence surrounding exercise interventions in advanced cancer populations has yet to be systematically evaluated. This review critically analyses the safety and feasibility of exercise interventions in patients with advanced cancer.
Formatted abstract
Introduction  Cancer is increasingly being viewed as a chronic illness requiring long-term management, and there is a growing need for evidence-based rehabilitation interventions for cancer survivors. Previous reviews have evaluated the benefits of exercise interventions for patients undergoing cancer treatment and long-term survivors, but none have investigated the role of exercise during cancer rehabilitation, the period immediately following cancer treatment completion. This systematic review summarises the literature on the health effects of exercise during cancer rehabilitation and evaluates the methodological rigour of studies in this area to date.

Methods  Relevant studies were identified through a systematic search of PubMed and Embase to April 2009. Data on study design, recruitment strategy, participants, exercise intervention, adherence rates, and outcomes were extracted. Methodological rigour was assessed using a structured rating system.

Results  Ten studies were included. Breast cancer patients were the predominate patient group represented. Most interventions were aerobic or resistance-training exercise programmes, and exercise type, frequency, duration and intensity varied across studies. Improvements in physical functioning, strength, physical activity levels, quality of life, fatigue, immune function, haemoglobin concentrations, potential markers of recurrence, and body composition were reported. However, all studies were limited by incomplete reporting and methodological limitations.

Conclusions  Although the methodological limitations of studies in this new field must be acknowledged, initial evidence indicates that exercise is feasible and may provide physiological and psychological benefits for cancer survivors during the rehabilitation period. Future studies with rigorous study designs are now required to advance the field.
© 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keyword Cancer
Stem-cell transplantation
Moderate-intensity exercise
High-dose chemotherapy
Physical performance
Aerobic exercise
Health behaviors
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID 301200
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online 4 December 2009.

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Created: Thu, 10 Dec 2009, 06:41:37 EST by Deborah Noon on behalf of School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences