Conference Coverage

Exercise improved QoL, functioning in breast cancer survivors



– A supervised and adapted exercise program improved quality of life, physical functioning, and strength in breast cancer survivors participating in the MAMA MOVE Gaia study.

Of 19 women who initiated participation in the program, which included a 16-week control phase followed by a 16-week exercise training intervention phase, 15 completed the program, and, after the training intervention, they experienced a significant increase in handgrip strength and sit-to-stand repetitions, Ana Joaquim, MD, of Centro Hospitalar de Vila Nova de Gaia/Espinho, Portugal, and colleagues reported in a poster at the European Society for Medical Oncology Congress.

During the control phase of the prospective nonrandomized study, participants experienced no significant changes over time in any domain of quality of life as measured by the EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire, although a trend toward improved physical functioning was noted at an evaluation performed 8 weeks after the control phase, compared with one performed just prior to the intervention phase (77.3 to 85.3 points, P = .051), the investigators said.

After the intervention phase, however, handgrip strength improved significantly at both the limb where surgery was performed and at the nonoperated limb (from 22.2 to 25.6 kg.f and from 22.6 to 26.9 kg.f). Similar results were observed for a sit-to-stand test (improvement from 12 to 17 repetitions).

Participants in the single-arm clinical trial were assessed after 8 weeks of the control phase, immediately prior to the intervention period, 8 weeks after the control phase, and 16 weeks into the invention phase.

The intervention phase consisted of 3 60-minute sessions per week of combined moderate to vigorous aerobic and strength exercise, defined as exercise at 65%-85% of maximum heart rate or at 6-8 points on the OMNI scale. Mean compliance among the participants was 63.6%.

The participants had a median age of 59 and 15 of the 19 were diagnosed with invasive carcinoma. Following surgery, 13 underwent radiotherapy, 15 received chemotherapy, and 18 received hormone therapy.

“Treatments for early breast cancer have side effects that affect quality of life and cause deconditioning,” the investigators wrote, adding that “physical exercise might have a supportive and coadjuvant role in the rehabilitation of breast cancer survivors.”

The MAMA MOVE trial aimed to assess the potential benefits of a community-based supervised exercise training program, and the findings suggest such programs could help improve quality of life, particularly with respect to physical functioning, they concluded.

The MAMA MOVE Gaia study was funded by Liga Portuguesa Contra o Cancro. The investigators reported having no disclosures.

SOURCE: Joaquim A et al. ESMO 2019, Abstract 234P.

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