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Recommended Exercise Protocol to Decrease Cancer-related Fatigue and Muscle Wasting in Patients With Multiple Myeloma: An Evidence-based Systematic Review

Strong, Aisha PT, MPT; Karavatas, Spiridon G. PT, DPT, MS, GCS; Reicherter, E. Anne PT, DPT, MEd, OCS

Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation: April-June 2006 - Volume 22 - Issue 2 - p 172–186

The aim of this study was to establish an evidence-based exercise protocol for decreasing cancer-related fatigue and muscle wasting in patients with multiple myeloma. A systematic search of electronic medical literature databases was performed to identify articles on patients with cancers similar to multiple myeloma and on exercise interventions. After initial inclusion criteria review, 20 of the 42 identified sources were chosen and analyzed for this systematic review. Although there were few studies examining patients with multiple myeloma specifically, all reviewed studies demonstrated that exercise has positive physiological and psychological effects in patients with cancers similar to multiple myeloma. A recommended exercise protocol based on these studies is presented. The authors suggest that aerobic, resistance, and a combination exercise regimen may have positive effects on decreasing cancer-related fatigue and muscle wasting in patients with multiple myeloma. However, further research is needed to address exercise concerns in this population.

Department of Physical Therapy, Howard University, Washington, DC.

Corresponding author: Spiridon G. Karavatas, PT, DPT, MS, GCS, Department of Physical Therapy/DAHS/ CPNAHS, Howard University, 6th & Bryant Sts, NW, Washington, DC 20059 (e-mail:

This research project was partially funded by a grant from Howard University and was in partial fulfillment of the first author's MPT degree.

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.