Exercise, cachexia, and cancer therapy: A molecular rationale

  • Ardies C
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Evidence from recent publications indicates that repeated exercise may enhance the quality of life of cancer patients. The lack of reported negative effects and the consis-tency of the observed benefits lead one to conclude that physi-cal exercise may provide a low-risk therapy that can improve patients' capacity to perform activities of daily living and im-prove their quality of life. Repeated physical activity may at-tenuate the adverse effects of cancer therapy, prevent or reverse cachexia, and reduce risk for a second cancer through suppression of inflammatory responses or enhance-ment of insulin sensitivity, rates of protein synthesis, and anti-oxidant and phase II enzyme activities. These results most likely come about through the ability of physical exercise to attenuate a chronic inflammatory signaling process and to transiently activate the mitogen-activated protein kinase, c-Jun NH 2 -terminal kinase, c-Jun NH 2 -terminal kinase-mito-gen-activated protein kinase, and nuclear factor-κB pathways and through its ability to enhance insulin sensitivity. Ex-panded molecular-based research into these areas may pro-vide new insights into the biological mechanisms associated with cancer rehabilitation and endogenous risk.

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  • C. Murray Ardies

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