physical activity in cancer
Four-year effects of physical exercise during adjuvant treatment on fatigue and physical activity in breast and colon cancer patients.
Background:A recent randomized trial, the PACT study, showed beneficial effects on fatigue and physical fitness after an 18-week supervised exercise program in breast and colon cancer patients undergoing adjuvant treatment. So far, little is known on long-term effects of exercising during adjuvant treatment on fatigue and whether physical activity levels could be maintained. The latter is important to preserve achieved beneficial health effects. The present study assessed effects of the exercise intervention on fatigue and physical activity
on average 4 years after participation in the PACT study
.Methods:The PACT study was a 2-armed, multicenter randomized controlled trial comparing an 18-week supervised exercise program to usual care among 204 breast cancer patients and 33 colon cancer patients undergoing adjuvant treatment including chemotherapy. Of the 237 participants, 197 patients were eligible and approached to participate in the 4-year follow-up measurements, and finally 128 patients responded (intervention (n = 70), usual care (n = 58)). Fatigue (MFI) and physical activity levels (SQUASH) was assessed at baseline, post-
intervention (at 18 weeks), 36-week post-baseline and 4 years post-baseline.
Results:Intention-to-treat mixed linear model analyses showed that cancer patients in the intervention group experienced less physical fatigue at 4-year post-baseline compared to the usual care group (-1.13, 95% CI -2.45;0.20, effect size (ES) = 0.22), although not statistically significant. Furthermore, cancer patients in the intervention group reported significantly higher moderate-to-vigorous total physical activity levels (141.77 min/week (CI 95% 1.31;281.61, ES = 0.22) after 4 years compared to the usual care group.
Conclusions:Breast and colon cancer patients, who participated in an 18-week exercise intervention during adjuvant treatment, showed significant higher levels of moderate-to-vigorous total physical activity levels and a tendency towards lower physical fatigue levels 4-year post-baseline. Exercise during chemotherapy might be a promising strategy for minimizing treatment-related side-effects both in the short- and long-term