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Does physical exercise improve quality of life of advanced cancer patients?

Navigante, Alfredo; Morgado, Pablo Cresta

Current Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care: December 2016 - Volume 10 - Issue 4 - p 306–309
doi: 10.1097/SPC.0000000000000238
END OF LIFE MANAGEMENT: Edited by Gustavo de Simone

Purpose of review We discuss the principal issues about physical activity in advanced cancer patients through the analyses of the last articles and our experience in this field.

Recent findings The efficacy of exercise training intervention could improve quality of life (QOL), fatigue and well being in advanced cancer patients. Several published studies have included, nevertheless, patients with early stage of disease and more recently, populations of patients with local advanced tumors of the breast, rectum and lung, who are undergoing neoadjuvant therapy. Despite the insufficient sample of patients in these studies, physical exercise is considered to improve both cardiopulmonary function and physical muscle fitness. Cancer-related fatigue is a devastating symptom in advanced cancer patients that implies loss of mobility and independence.

Summary Physical exercise could be a treatment to increase skeletal muscle endurance and improve well being. In palliative medicine, physical activity could be applied to medical assistance or to design prospective and controlled trials so as to evaluate possible usefulness.

aPallium Institute

bTranslational Research Unit, ‘Ángel H. Roffo’ Cancer Institute, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Correspondence to Alfredo Navigante, Instituto Pallium, Bonpland 2287 (1414) CABA, Argentina. E-mail:

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