Moderate exercise may make cancer treatments more effective

5 May 2015

Researchers at Kansas State University kinesiology have found evidence that suggests even moderate exercise could improve the efficiency of cancer treatment.

The team found that a brisk walk or a slow jog on a regular basis could be the key to improved cancer treatments.

Brad Behnke, associate professor of exercise physiology, and collaborators found that moderate exercise on a regular basis boosts tumour oxygenation, which could help improve results.

"If we can increase the efficacy of radiation treatment, then the patient's prognosis is enhanced," Dr Behnke said. 

He said that exercise has almost universally positive side effects, compared to other treatments, which could mean that exercise can permanently alter the environment within the tumour.
For the study, Dr Behnke used models of prostate cancer tumours to find ways to boost oxygen delivery. When levels are limited a tumour is hypoxic and is usually very aggressive. 

As oxygen can help destroy cancer cells, low-oxygen tumours are often resistant to traditional cancer therapies.

The key is moderate exercise, Dr Behnke said, as too little exercise may have no effect, but too much exercise may have a negative effect and shut down blood flow to the tumour.

Posted by Edward Bartel 

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