Exercise and Chemotherapy: Critical Information

There are 3 animal studies that show the incredible power of exercise along with chemotherapy treatment. Whether you are a survivor or a clinician, this information is crucial. Let's all advocate for treadmills, bikes and upper extremity ergometers right in the infusion clinics so that survivors get the most of every ounce of chemotherapy.

Exercise just before infusion or just after infusion could improve your outcomes. Let's all get the word out!!

1. Combining exercise and chemotherapy shrank tumors more than chemotherapy alone (doxorubicin). The theory is that exercise increases blood flow to tumor bringing more of drug to the site of the tumor Libonati, et al. Exercise boosts tumor-fighting ability of chemotherapy. 2014. Amer J Physiol. doi.org/10.1152/ajpregu.00082.2014

2. Exercise statistically significantly reduced tumor growth and was associated with apoptosis (which is cell death) 1.4 fold increase compared with sedentary controls. 3. Exercise plus chemotherapy prolonged growth delay compared with chemotherapy alone. 
Betof et al. Modulation of Murine Breast Tumor Vascularity, Hypoxia, and Chemotherapeutic response by exercise. doi:10.1093/jnci/djv040.

3. Mice that exercised with chemotherapy showed significantly slower growth in tumors than in sedentary mice and 1.5 times higher tumor cell death. Exercise stimulated significant improvements in number & function of blood vessels around tumors, improving oxygen flow to the cancer site. Not only does cancer not live in oxygenated area but chemotherapy, (cyclophosphamide) drugs delivered to tumor quicker. 
Dewhirst, Montana. J National Cancer Institute (2015; doi:10.1093/jnci/djv040).