, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 47-52
Date: 12 Jan 2013

Endurance training for cancer patients during and shortly after completion of the anti-cancer treatment

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Cardiorespiratory fitness is one of the most important indicators of health and improves length of life. The attention and acceptance for endurance training in patients with several cancer diagnoses increased during the last decade. This review highlight’s the effect of endurance training in cancer patients by summarizing exemplary randomized clinical trials and systematic reviews both within the acute hospital treatment context, as in a rehabilitation setting. To date, most studies focus on endurance training in patient groups with moderate to good prognosis. The studies within these patient groups evaluate the endurance training in cancer patients using a moderate training intensity between 50 and 75 % of the VO2 peak with an exercise time varying from 20 min (five times per week) in hospital up to 45 min (two to three times per week) in an ambulatory setting. Recently, the American College of Sports Medicine indicated that cancer survivors should follow the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which represents ≥150 min per week of moderate intensity, ≥75 min per week of vigorous intensity aerobic exercise, or an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous intensity aerobic exercises. To date, fewer studies evaluate the effects of endurance training in a palliative setting to maintain physical function of the patient. Future studies should investigate the effect of endurance training by evaluating different types of intensity training (moderate vs. high intensity training), the use of high-tech devices to improve physical activity, and to evaluate the effect of endurance training in patients with a palliative intention.