Purpose To evaluate the effects of exercise therapy on cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) among patients with adult-onset cancer. Secondary objectives were to evaluate treatment effect modifiers, safety, and fidelity. Methods A systematic search of PubMed, Embase, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and the Cochrane Library was conducted to identify RCTs that compared exercise therapy to a nonexercise control group. The primary end point was change in CRF as evaluated by peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak; in mL O2 × kg-1 × min-1) from baseline to postintervention. Subgroup analyses evaluated whether treatment effects differed as a function of exercise prescription (ie, modality, schedule, length, supervision), study characteristics (ie, intervention timing, primary cancer site), and publication year. Safety was defined as report of any adverse event (AE); fidelity was evaluated by rates of attendance, adherence, and loss to follow-up. Results Forty-eight unique RCTs that represented 3,632 patients (mean standard deviation age, 55 ± 7.5 years; 68% women); 1,990 (55%) and 1,642 (45%) allocated to exercise therapy and control/usual care groups, respectively, were evaluated. Exercise therapy was associated with a significant increase in CRF (+2.80 mL O2 × kg-1 × min-1) compared with no change (+0.02 mL O2 × kg-1 × min-1) in the control group (weighted mean differences, +2.13 mL O2 × kg-1 × min-1; 95% CI, 1.58 to 2.67; I2, 20.6; P < .001). No statistical significant differences were observed on the basis of any treatment effect modifiers. Thirty trials (63%) monitored AEs; a total of 44 AEs were reported. The mean standard deviation loss to follow-up, attendance, and adherence rates were 11% ± 13%, 84% ± 12%, and 88% ± 32%, respectively. Conclusion Exercise therapy is an effective adjunctive therapy to improve CRF in patients with cancer. Our findings support the recommendation of exercise therapy for patients with adult-onset cancer.
It's not surprising that exercise improves cardiopulmonary fitness.
The article has given insight into advising exercise to patients being treated with systemic therapy so as to maintain cardiovascular health.
Weighted mean difference in VO2peak is only 2.13 mL O2 x Kg-1 x min -1, that is -more or less- a 5% of an average VO2peak.
The main finding of this meta-analysis is that exercise improves VO2peak in cancer patients, which is not surprising. This is only a surrogate marker; what I would be interested in is whether exercise improved QOL, or more importantly, overall survival. Unfortunately, this is information is not available.
There are cancers and there are cancers; there is staging and grading!
This is a meta-analysis that demonstrates the somewhat obvious point that exercise improves cardiorespiratory fitness, specifically in cancer patients.