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Effects of exercise on chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy in cancer patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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Abstract

Purpose

Summarize and critically evaluate the existing studies to determine the effects of exercise on chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy in cancer patients.

Methods

We searched PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library databases for randomized controlled trials reporting exercise intervention in cancer patients with chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. The outcomes of interest included chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy symptoms, physical function (balance control, muscle strength, and functional status), and quality of life. The Cochrane Collaboration’s tool was employed to assess the risk of bias.

Results

The search identified 1309 studies, 16 of which eligible. Our meta-analysis revealed that exercise intervention significantly improved the quality of life (SMD = 0.83, 95% CI = 0.58 to 1.08, I2 = 0%, P < 0.00001) and relieved neuropathic pain (MD =  − 4.93, 95% CI =  − 5.60 to − 4.26, I2 = 0%, P < 0.00001). The muscular strength of the upper (SMD = 1.10, 95% CI = 0.68 to 1.51, I2 = 25%, P < 0.00001) and the lower limbs (SMD = 0.84, 95% CI = 0.42 to 1.26, I2 = 36%, P < 0.00001) increased and balance performance (SMD = 1.05, 95% CI = 0.62 to1.48, I2 = 0%, P < 0.00001) was better in the exercise group than in the group with usual care. However, no evidence was found that exercise intervention could improve CIPN symptoms.

Conclusions

The results of this study showed that combined exercise could be an effective option for improving quality of life, physical function (balance control and muscle strength), and neuropathic pain in cancer patients with chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. Further exploration of appropriate exercise prescriptions is needed to improve other outcomes.

Implications for Cancer Survivors

Specific and appropriate exercise intervention for cancer patients with chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy should be recommended because these interventions can improve their quality of life and physical function.

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Funding

This study was funded by Jilin Province Department of Finance (JLSCZN2019-004).

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Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

Shaoning Guo designed the project. Shaoning Guo and Wenwen Han performed the literature search. Shaoning Guo, Wenwen Han, and Pengju Wang performed data extraction and analysis. Shaoning Guo, Wenwen Han, and Pengju Wang performed the quality assessment. Shaoning Guo, Wenwen Han, Pengju Wang, and Xue Wang contributed to the article drafting. Xuedong Fang revised the manuscript critically and supervised the project. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Xuedong Fang.

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The data used to support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon request.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Guo, S., Han, W., Wang, P. et al. Effects of exercise on chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy in cancer patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Cancer Surviv 17, 318–331 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11764-022-01182-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11764-022-01182-3

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