Objectively measured physical activity during chemotherapy in colon cancer patients



Although adjuvant chemotherapy can have an impact on physical activity (PA), PA level has not been studied in patients with stage II–III colon cancer. This study investigated PA levels during and between chemotherapy cycles.


We objectively measured PA levels for 2 weeks during the 2nd and 11th chemotherapy cycles. In addition, self-reported PA levels were assessed before chemotherapy initiation, during 2nd, 6th, and 12th chemotherapy cycles. This study included 22 men and 33 women with stage II–III colon cancer patients (57 ± 9 years).


Before the initiation of chemotherapy, most cancer patients were minimally active. Compared with the 1st week of chemotherapy, moderate- and light-intensity PA levels significantly increased during the 2nd week of chemotherapy. Patients increased moderate- and light-intensity PA from 217.4 to 290.3 min per week and from 585.7 to 657.8 min per week, respectively (p < 0.01). PA levels did not show any difference between the 2nd and 12th cycles when objectively measured, or between baseline and 2nd, 6th, and 12th cycles when self-reported.


PA levels during chemotherapy cycles are initially low, and then increase towards the end of the cycle; however, PA levels do not change between chemotherapy cycles. Future work with broader and larger samples size is recommended.

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This research was supported by the National R&D program for Cancer Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (1631020) to JYJ and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2015S1A5B8036349) to JYJ. The funders had no role in study design, data collection, and analyses, decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript.

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Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Joong Bae Ahn or Justin Y. Jeon.

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This study was approved by the institutional review board of Yonsei Severance Hospital and all subjects provided written consent prior to the commencement of any study-related procedures. The study was performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki.

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Our manuscript does not contain any individual person’s data in any form (including individual details, images or videos).

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The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.


We declare that results of the study are presented clearly, honestly, and without fabrication, falsification, or inappropriate data manipulation. We also declare that results of the present study do not constitute endorsement by ACSM.

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Park, H., Jung, M., Kim, M.J. et al. Objectively measured physical activity during chemotherapy in colon cancer patients. Support Care Cancer 28, 2597–2604 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-019-05049-9

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  • Exercise
  • Chemotherapy
  • Colonic neoplasms