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Evaluation of the effects of sensorimotor exercise on physical and psychological parameters in breast cancer patients undergoing neurotoxic chemotherapy

Abstract

Introduction

Breast cancer is the most common cancer disease of women in industrialized countries. Neurotoxic chemotherapy drugs are known to harm peripheral nerves and cause a chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN). CIPN is one of the most common adverse events associated with Paclitaxel chemotherapy and may remain present long after the termination of chemotherapy. Thus, it reduces the patients’ quality of life (QoL) both during chemotherapy and onwards, and can impose a danger on breast cancer survivors due to an increased risk of falling and fall-related injuries.

Methods

The aim of this randomized-controlled trial (RCT) (n = 36) (IG: intervention group, n = 17) (CG: control group, n = 19) was to determine whether sensorimotor exercises have a positive effect on physical and psychological parameters in breast cancer patients undergoing neurotoxic chemotherapy (Paclitaxel).

Results

As a result, we were able to show significant improvements in postural stability in monopedal stance [left leg 16.17 ± 3.67 vs. 21.55 ± 5.33 (p < 0.001) and right leg 15.14 ± 2.30 vs. 20.85 ± 5.05 (p < 0.001)] and in bipedal stance [T1 vs. T0, − 0.49 (IG) vs. + 1.14 (CG) p = 0.039].

Discussion

These results in posturography correlate with the clinical presentation with intervention group patients scoring significantly better on the Fullerton Advanced Balance Scale [37.71 ± 2.73 vs. 34.47 ± 3.98 (p = 0.004)]. Moderate strength training successfully prevented a strength loss in the IG that was remarkable in the CG (− 1.60 vs. 0.60, p = 0.029). Concerning the psychological parameters assessed via EORTC- and MFI-questionnaires, no significant improvements were found.

Conclusion

Future studies should focus on the correlation of clinical and posturometry findings and subjective QOL such as the long-term-development of CIPN.

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Correspondence to Paul Lennart Vollmers.

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We declare that no conflicts of interest exist. No financial gain is obtained from this study and its findings.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were carried out in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 (and subsequent) Helsinki declaration(s) and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in this study.

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Vollmers, P.L., Mundhenke, C., Maass, N. et al. Evaluation of the effects of sensorimotor exercise on physical and psychological parameters in breast cancer patients undergoing neurotoxic chemotherapy. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 144, 1785–1792 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00432-018-2686-5

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Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • Mamma-carcinoma
  • Chemotherapy
  • Paclitaxel
  • Taxol
  • Neurotoxic
  • Neuropathy
  • Chemotherapy-induced peripheral polyneuropathy
  • Nerves
  • Sensorimotor exercise
  • Training
  • Exercise intervention
  • Posturometry
  • Posturography
  • Sway area
  • Monopedal stance
  • Bipedal stance
  • Fullterton Advanced Balance Scale
  • FAB
  • Postural instability
  • Risk of falling
  • Fall risk
  • Strength
  • Upper extremity
  • Lower extremity
  • Hand dynamometer
  • Chair rising test
  • Eortc
  • European organization of research and treatment of cancer
  • Qol
  • Quality of life
  • QLQ-C30
  • CIPN-20
  • BR-23
  • Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory
  • MFI-20
  • Adverse events
  • Survivors