Question: Is there a dose-response effect of exercise on inflammation, fatigue and activity in cancer survivors? Design: Systematic review with meta-regression analysis of randomised trials. Participants: Adults diagnosed with cancer, regardless of specific diagnosis or treatment. Intervention: Exercise interventions including aerobic and/or resistance as a key component. Outcome measures: The primary outcome measures were markers of inflammation (including C-reactive protein and interleukins) and various measures of fatigue. The secondary outcomes were: measures of activity, as defined by the World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, including activities of daily living and measures of functional mobility (eg, 6-minute walk test, timed sit-to-stand and stair-climb tests). Risk of bias was evaluated using the PEDro scale, and overall quality of evidence was assessed using the Grades of Research, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach. Results: Forty-two trials involving 3816 participants were included. There was very low-quality to moderate-quality evidence that exercise results in significant reductions in fatigue (SMD 0.32, 95% CI 0.13 to 0.52) and increased walking endurance (SMD 0.77, 95% CI 0.26 to 1.28). A significant negative association was found between aerobic exercise intensity and fatigue reduction. A peak effect was found for moderate-intensity aerobic exercise for improving walking endurance. No dose-response relationship was found between exercise and markers of inflammation or exercise duration and outcomes. Rates of adherence were typically high and few adverse events were reported. Conclusions: Exercise is safe, reduces fatigue and increases endurance in cancer survivors. The results support the recommendation of prescribing moderate-intensity aerobic exercise to reduce fatigue and improve activity in people with cancer. Review registration: PROSPERO CRD42015019164. [Dennett AM, Peiris CL, Shields N, Prendergast LA, Taylor NF (2016) Moderate-intensity exercise reduces fatigue and improves mobility in cancer survivors: a systematic review and meta-regression. Journal of Physiotherapy 62: 68-82].
Dennett, A. M., Peiris, C. L., Shields, N., Prendergast, L. A., & Taylor, N. F. (2016). Moderate-intensity exercise reduces fatigue and improves mobility in cancer survivors: A systematic review and meta-regression. Journal of Physiotherapy, 62(2), 68–82. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jphys.2016.02.012