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Medicina dello Sport 2018 December;71(4):604-16

DOI: 10.23736/S0025-7826.18.03244-1


language: English, Italian

Influence of an exercise program on blood immune function in women with breast cancer

Lucía SAGARRA-ROMERO 1, 2, Mercedes RUIDIAZ 3, Santiago CALERO MORALES 4, Isabel ANTÓN-SOLANAS 1, 2, Antonio MONROY ANTÓN 5

1 Faculty of Heath Sciences, University of San Jorge, Villanueva de Gállego, Zaragoza, Spain; 2 GIAS Research Group, University of San Jorge, Villanueva de Gállego, Zaragoza, Spain; 3 Department of Physiatrics, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain; 4 Department of Physical Education,University of ESPE Armed Forces, Sangolquí, Ecuador; 5 Department of Musical, Plastic and Body Expression Teaching, University of Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain


BACKGROUND: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the influence of a program of exercise on the immune system of women suffering from breast cancer during chemotherapy treatment. Twenty-two women (mean age 49.0±5.3 years) who had undergone surgery volunteered for the clinical trial whilst receiving treatment with chemotherapy.
METHODS: A total sample of 22 patients were randomly assigned to a control group (CG, N.=11) and an intervention group (IG, N.=11). Women in the IG completed the exercise program during a 6-month period consisting of 60 minutes of aerobic (60-70% VO2 peak) and strength training, three days a week. A range of haematological and immunological parameters, namely lymphocyte subpopulations (lymphocytes T CD3+, CD44, CD8, lymphocytes B), the functional activity of the Natural Killer cells and tumor markers, were evaluated at the beginning and at the end of the exercise program in both groups.
RESULTS: VO2 peak (L/min) decreased in the CG after the treatment (P<0.05). Significant differences were detected in red series (all P<0.05) in CG (pre/post treatment, respectively). No differences were found in the IG. A decrease of B cells was observed by the end of the treatment in both groups, being significant in the IG (P<0.05). Most of the parameters analyzed were located in the normal values established for the healthy population.
CONCLUSIONS: The analysis of the results revealed that an exercise program in women with breast cancer during chemotherapy treatment did not have negative effects on their immune system. However, we did observe an increase in lymphocyte proliferation in both groups.

KEY WORDS: Exercise - Breast neoplasms - Chemotherapy, adjuvant - Immune system

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