Exercise Training in Oncology: Systematic Review and Clinical Practice Recommendations

Lee W Jones, Edith Pituskin, Claudio L. Battaglini


Background: The emergence of exercise therapy as an important adjunct therapy following a cancer diagnosis dramatically increases the need for oncology professionals to inform and advise cancer patients on this modality. To guide clinical practice and ensure optimal safety and efficacy, oncology-specific evidence-based practice recommendations are required. Methods: We conducted a systematic review to identify all studies examining the effect of an exercise training intervention that included an objective measurement of cardiorespiratory fitness in adults diagnosed with cancer. Studies were assessed according to the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE) II criteria. Despite considerable heterogeneity, structured exercise interventions significantly improved a variety of measures of cardiorespiratory fitness, body composition, global quality of life, fatigue, and depression. Results: Based on this evidence, we provide clinical practice exercise recommendations for curative-intent cancer patients both during and following adjuvant therapy. Conclusion: This summary provides important guidance to oncology and other health professionals giving exercise advice to individuals with cancer.


Medicine; Exercise; Physiology; Chronic Disease; Physical Activity; Health Promotion; Exercise Science; Kinesiology

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ISSN: 19206216