Scientists say exercise can help amplify the effect of cancer medication
Scientists say exercise can help amplify the effect of cancer medicationCancer is a devastating disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Although many treatment options are available, there is still no cure for cancer. However, scientists are continually searching for new and improved treatment options that can help improve the quality of life for cancer patients.
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One promising area of research is the role of exercise in cancer treatment. Exercise has numerous health benefits, including improving cardiovascular health, reducing inflammation, and boosting the immune system. These benefits may also help to amplify the effect of cancer medication.
When you exercise, a protein called myokines is released by your body, which repairs your muscles, but can also 'attack cancer cells', a scientist says.
They examined data from a human trial of 75 individuals with pancreatic cancer after establishing their theory in mice.
Before having surgery to remove their tumours, one group was asked to complete an hour of strength training and 90 minutes of aerobic exercise per week.
Those who completed the six-week training program had a 50% greater five-year survival rate than those who did not complete the program.
Scientists have long lauded the benefits of exercise in lowering people's risk of developing cancer. Still, this study suggests it may also aid people already afflicted with the disease.
Researchers from NYU Grossman School of Medicine in New York discovered that exercising mice with cancer for 30 minutes five times a week lowered the risk of cancer formation by 50%.
Another experiment in which mice ran on a treadmill for three weeks reduced tumour weight by 25%.
Adrenaline induction via exercise was discovered to boost the body's production of a protein known as interleukin-15. This raises the ability of CD8 T cells, which are immune system cells that attack and kill pancreatic cancer cells.
Researchers then analysed the results of a clinical trial of humans in 2017.
The patients were encouraged to do strengthening activities for 30 minutes twice a week, which could include resistance bands, weight training, or yoga, and go on a brisk walk for 30 minutes at least three times a week.
They followed the regime for six weeks before having operations to remove their cancers, and it showed that the regular blood tests in the patients who exercised had more CD8 T cells. And looking at health records, the researchers discovered that these patients had 50% higher overall survival rates after five years.
According to the NYU researchers, the findings of their study demonstrated for the first time how even small levels of exercise could help treat pancreatic cancer. Even more essential for pancreatic cancer because therapy options are limited.
The researchers hope their discovery may eventually lead to better programs for treating people suffering from this disease, which is frequently identified too late, leaving patients with few options.
'Our findings illustrate, for the first time, how aerobic exercise alters the immunological microenvironment within pancreatic tumours,' said Dr Emma Kurz, principal author of the study.
'The research contributed to the discovery that activating IL-15 signalling in pancreatic cancer could be an essential therapy strategy in the future.'
The researchers used mice to see if exercise may improve established cancer treatments to put the notion to the test.
This immunotherapy was proven to stimulate the generation of cancer-killing cells by 66% on its own.
However, their cancer-killing cell output surged by 175% when the mice exercised. Professor Dafna Bar-Sagi of NYU Grossman, a biochemistry expert and study co-author, said the findings demonstrated the possibility of exercise in pancreatic cancer therapy.
'That even mild exercise can profoundly alter the environment in tumours points to the potential of this approach in treating patients with a devastating disease burden and few options,' she said.
The best chance of curing cancer is surgery to remove the malignant tissue. Still, only 10% of individuals have this option because cancer is usually identified after spreading to other parts of the body. So that's why adults should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate level activity per week or 75 minutes of high-intensity activity per week and do muscle-strengthening exercises on at least two days a week, according to NHS recommendations.
You better know this early because according to Cancer Research UK, over 9,000 British people die from pancreatic cancer every year. It is particularly lethal due to its difficulty in detecting and treating. That's ultimately why around 95% of those who contract it pass away after five years. And that's a huge number!
It's always best to take care of your health so you won't have to deal with any diseases in the future. But if you are already dealing with cancer, maybe this information could help you out somehow.
Although exercise can HELP YOUR BODY FIGHT cancer, it cannot be used as a sole cancer treatment. It must be used in conjunction with other treatments such as surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. So always CHECK with your doctor first if it is okay for you to do any strenuous activity, or start any exercise program.
We hope you learned a lot from this article. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below!
Check this video for other health benefits of doing a regular exercise: