Do You Think Exercise is Important to Prevent Recurrence of Cancer?

Recent research presented at the Integrated Biology of Exercise VI meeting as   a poster presentation titled Effect of Exercise on T Cells in Cancer Survivors concluded that when cancer survivors  exercise for several weeks after they finish chemotherapy their immune systems remodel themselves to become more effective in fending off future incidences of cancer and thus significantly reduce the chances of secondary cancer.

Previous research showed that after chemotherapy the majority of T cells became senescent, with a decreased ability to fight infections and cancers.  Thus, rebuilding the responsive native T cells is critical for regaining immune function and cancer-fighting ability.

In their study -researchers took blood samples from each of the cancer volunteers to examine how many senescent and native T cells each had. The subjects were then  enrolled in a 12 week exercise program that was individualized for the study participants, incorporating elements of cardiovascular exercise, strength and endurance training, and exercises for flexibility, posture and balance with extra emphasis to areas where participants were weak.

After the 12 week program, researchers took a second blood sample and ran the same T cell analysis.  Results showed that the ratio of senescent to native T cells changed favorably in the majority of participants and most regained greater numbers of native T cells. Researchers said “What we’re suggesting is that with exercise, you might be getting rid of T cells that aren’t helpful and making room for T cells that might be helpful.”

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