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Cancer survivors often experience poor post-treatment musculoskeletal health. This study examined the feasibility of combined aerobic and resistant training (CART) for improving strength, skeletal health and balance. Cancer survivors (n = 24) were identified by convenience sampling in Los Angeles County with 11 survivors consenting to 13 weeks of CART. Pre- and post-intervention assessments of bone mineral density (BMD), strength, flexibility and biomarker analysis were performed. Paired t-test analysis suggested increases in lower and upper body strength. The average T-score for BMD at the femoral neck improved from −1.46 to −1.36 and whole body BMD improved from −1.65 to −1.55. From baseline to follow-up, participants also displayed decreases in sway velocity on the eyes open (7%) and eyes closed (27%) conditions. Improvement in lower body strength was associated with increases in lean body mass (LBM) (r = 0.721) and an inverse association was observed between sway velocity and LBM (r = 0.838). Age and time since last treatment were related with biomarkers of anabolic growth (IGF-1, IGFbp-3) and bone (DPD, BAP). In summary, observed physiological changes were consistent with functional improvements, suggesting that isometric and dynamic exercise prescription may reduce the risk for falls and fall-related fractures among survivors.
Almstedt, H. C., et al. “Training-Related Improvements in Musculoskeletal Health and Balance: A 13-Week Pilot Study of Female Cancer Survivors.” European Journal of Cancer Care, no. 2, 2017.