Brain cancer patients who exercise regularly live longer

Scientists at the Duke Cancer Institute have indicated that brain cancer patients who are able to exercise live significantly longer than sedentary patients.

The study enrolled 243 patients at the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke with advanced recurrent gliomas, lethal brain malignancies that typically result in a median life expectancy of less than six months.

The patients who reported participating in regular, brisk exercise – the equivalent of an energetic walk five days a week for 30 minutes – had significantly prolonged survival, living a median 21.84 months vs. 13.03 months for the most sedentary patients.

“Discovering these mechanisms could provide new insights into cancer progression,” said Lee W. Jones, associate professor in the Duke Cancer Institute and senior author of the study.

“It could also lead to novel studies where exercise is combined with certain cancer therapies to see if both interventions together are more effective at inhibiting cancer recurrence or progression, not just minimizing the adverse side effects of the cancer therapies,” added Jones.

The study has been published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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