Fatigue, stress, and depression contribute to poor health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among cancer survivors. This study examined the effects of combined aerobic and resistance training (CART) on HRQoL and biomarkers of stress. Cancer survivors (n = 76, 91% female, 39% breast cancer, 32% gynecologic cancer) were enrolled in CART for three 60-min sessions, weekly, for 26 weeks. Participants completed the National Institutes of Health's Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (NIH PROMIS) fatigue assessment and the SF-36. Cortisol and c-reactive protein (CRP) were assessed using volunteered blood specimens. Baseline fatigue scores were worse for participants completing treatment within the last year, compared to long-term survivors [F = (2, 59) = 3.470, p = 0.038]. After 26 weeks, fatigue scores improved by a noteworthy two points [M = 52.72, standard deviation, SD = 10.10 vs. M = 50.67, SD = 10.14; t(48) = 1.7145, p = 0.092]. Pre- to postintervention improvements in bodily pain [M = 50.54, SD = 9.51 vs. M = 48.20, SD = 10.07; t(33) = 2.913, p = 0.006] and limitations in social functioning [M = 50.60, SD = 9.17 vs. M = 47.75, SD = 11.66; t(33) = 2.206, p = 0.034], as well as a mean decrease of 1.64 ± 10.11 mg/L in CRP levels [t(107) = 1.261, p = 5.965], were observed. Participants within 1 year of treatment completion experienced greater improvements in post CRP levels compared to those who had treatment 1-4 years (p = 0.030) and 5 or more years ago (p = 0.023). Physical functioning, fatigue, fear/anxiety, social role satisfaction, and CRP levels improved following participation in this exercise intervention. Oncologists should consider recommending CART as soon as medically feasible following the cessation of cancer treatment.
Ricci, Jeanette M., et al. "Pilot Study of Dose-Response Effects of Exercise on Change in C-Reactive Protein, Cortisol, and Health-Related Quality of Life among Cancer Survivors." BioResearch Open Access 7.1 (2018): 52-62.