Exercise can have a positive impact on cancer therapy

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Strengthen tumor cell defense in cancer therapy with sport

Through intensive endurance sports, cancer patients can boost their tumor cell defense. This is communicated by scientists from the German Sport University Cologne and the University Clinic Cologne at the Center for Integrated Oncology (CIO) Cologne / Bonn. The researchers had 15 cancer patients trained for follow-up care for a half marathon. They examined the immune system of the study participants. As it turned out, physical exertion led to an increase in the number of so-called natural killer cells, which are crucial for tumor defense.

Sport supports the immune system of cancer patients Cologne scientists have gained new knowledge about the effect of intense physical exertion on the immune defense of cancer patients. A total of 30 patients aged 40 and 67 participated in the study. Half of the subjects had breast, colon or prostate cancer. Her therapy was at least a year ago. The other half of the healthy subjects acted as a control group. As part of the investigation, the participants had to prepare for a half marathon. The subjects' immune systems were examined before and after the run. As it turned out, strenuous physical activity has a positive effect on the body's own tumor defense.

While it was assumed for a long time that sports cancer patients are too physically stressed and thus have a negative impact on the course of the disease, numerous studies have now shown the opposite effect. Not much is known about the exercise dose, however. "From a scientific point of view, we still don't have enough knowledge about optimal training control and intensity," says Freerk T. Baumann from the Institute for Circulation Research and Sports Medicine at the German Sport University Cologne. "Therefore, knowledge is very important that shows us how the immune system of people with cancer reacts to physical activity."

Cancer patients could be better armed against the recurrence of tumors through exercise Wilhelm Bloch, head of the Institute for Circulatory Research and Sports Medicine at the German Sport University Cologne, reports of the first findings: "The human immune system has defense cells, so-called natural killer cells, which are able to Recognize and kill tumor cells. ”Patients who are active in sport have been shown to have more natural killer cells in their bodies than people who do little exercise. According to the scientists, even strenuous sports such as the subjects' half-marathon training have no harmful influence. Rather, it can even have a health-promoting effect. However, the individual condition of the patient - his physical condition, the type of cancer and medical therapy - must be taken into account, according to the researchers. “Our research suggests that more capable cancer patients are better equipped to fight the recurrence of their disease. The more stamina and performance the patient has, the more immune cells remain in the blood and are thus available to the organism for the defense against tumor cells, "explains Bloch. Sport is therefore" a therapeutic agent in cancer therapy ".

“The use of the body's defenses obviously has a lot of potential in the fight against cancer. In this respect, the topic of 'sport in cancer' has now gained considerable importance because sport and exercise act like a drug without side effects, ”reports Gerd Nettekoven, general manager of the German Cancer Aid. “Our goal is to gain new, scientifically proven knowledge about the effects of sport on cancer. We also want to increase the acceptance of targeted sporting activities in the treatment phase among medical staff and those affected. "

The scientists presented their results for the first time at the 31st German Cancer Congress of the German Cancer Aid and the German Cancer Society. (ag)

Image: Tim Reckmann / pixelio.de

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Video: Physical Activitys Impact on Cancer Treatment - Anna Schwartz. MedBridge

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