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Table of Contents
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 426-427

Importance of individualizing aerobic exercise regimens for patients with cancer

Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy

Date of Submission13-May-2021
Date of Decision19-May-2021
Date of Acceptance20-May-2021
Date of Web Publication30-Jun-2021

Correspondence Address:
Chidiebere Emmanuel Okechukwu
Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, Sapienza University of Rome, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/crst.crst_103_21

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How to cite this article:
Okechukwu CE. Importance of individualizing aerobic exercise regimens for patients with cancer. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2021;4:426-7

How to cite this URL:
Okechukwu CE. Importance of individualizing aerobic exercise regimens for patients with cancer. Cancer Res Stat Treat [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Jul 24];4:426-7. Available from: https://www.crstonline.com/text.asp?2021/4/2/426/320314

Developing a safe, tolerable, and individualized exercise regimen for patients with cancer is one of the major goals of exercise oncology.[1] Individualization of aerobic exercise regimens enables patients with cancer, especially the sedentary and deconditioned ones, to recover and restore their normal lifestyle with improved functional capacity. Moreover, the individualization of aerobic exercise regimens accelerates the reduction in cancer-related fatigue,[2]enhances mental health, lessens cardiovascular toxicity,[3] and lowers the treatment cost.[4] To develop individualized aerobic exercise regimens, patients with cancer are subjected to an exercise stress test after careful evaluation of their clinical status, level of physical activity, and exercise preference.[5] When tailoring an aerobic exercise regimen, the training intensity should be progressively increased, based on the patients' tolerance, present health status, and preference, with early work:rest ratios of 1:1 increasing to 2:1 at later stages.

Individualization of aerobic exercise regimens is an important step towards achieving precision in exercise oncology. Moreover, it accelerates the improvement in cardiopulmonary fitness/functional capacity, decreases the adverse effects of cancer therapy, and improves body composition, mood, memory, cognitive function,[6] and quality of life. A personalized aerobic exercise regimen is much safer than a non-tailored one, because the patients' training load, exercise tolerance, and preferences may differ. Moreover, it could be unsafe for all the patients to be trained at the same intensity because the cardiopulmonary fitness level and health status of different individuals may be different. Therefore, a graded exercise stress test is essential for tailoring exercise regimens, as it can reveal an underlying heart disease and evaluate exercise-associated chest indications. The outcome of a stress test can enable clinical exercise physiologists and physicians to tailor an exercise regimen according to the patients' functional capacity, tolerance, and health status. The exercise stress test also reveals abnormal blood pressure responses and can be used to quantify the functional aerobic capacity and calculate its level of variation from recognized benchmarks. Individualization of aerobic exercise regimens is vital in the prevention of exercise-related acute cardiovascular events attributed to atherosclerotic disease among patients with cancer [Table 1] and [Table 2].[7],[8]
Table 1: Precautions to be taken when assessing the functional capacity of patients with cancer

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Table 2: Strategies for tailoring aerobic exercise regimens for patients with cancer

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In conclusion, physiological responses to aerobic exercises among patients with cancer vary with the individual's training load, cardiorespiratory fitness, metabolic health, and blood pressure. Hence, significant improvements in the treatment outcomes may be achieved through the individualization of aerobic exercise regimens. An individualized low-to-moderate aerobic exercise routine is essential for improving the treatment outcomes and physical and mental health among patients with cancer.

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There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Hayes SC, Newton RU, Spence RR, Galvão DA. The exercise and sports science australia position statement: Exercise medicine in cancer management. J Sci Med Sport 2019;22:1175-99.  Back to cited text no. 1
Koyyala VP. Cancer-related fatigue: A burden unreported by patients, undiagnosed by physicians, and unaddressed in research. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2021;4:121-3.  Back to cited text no. 2
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Okechukwu CE. Role of aerobic exercise in mitigating cancer treatment-induced cardiovascular toxicity. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:636-8  Back to cited text no. 3
Jones LW, Eves ND, Scott JM. Bench-to-bedside approaches for personalized exercise therapy in cancer. Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book 2017;37:684-94.  Back to cited text no. 4
Twomey R, Martin T, Temesi J, Culos-Reed SN, Millet GY. Tailored exercise interventions to reduce fatigue in cancer survivors: Study protocol of a randomized controlled trial. BMC Cancer 2018;18:757.  Back to cited text no. 5
Okechukwu CE. Role of exercise in mitigating breast cancer-related cognitive impairment in women. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:841-4.  Back to cited text no. 6
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Courneya KS, Mackey JR, Jones LW. Coping with cancer: Can exercise help? Phys Sportsmed 2000;28:49-73.  Back to cited text no. 7
Campbell KL, Winters-Stone KM, Wiskemann J, May AM, Schwartz AL, Courneya KS, et al. Exercise guidelines for cancer survivors: Consensus statement from international multidisciplinary roundtable. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2019;51:2375-90.  Back to cited text no. 8


  [Table 1], [Table 2]


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