Exercise boosts chemo's effects
New research conducted on mice with melanoma by scientists at the University of Pennsylvania suggests that when combined with chemotherapy, exercise may help shrink tumors more than when chemotherapy is administered alone.
To conduct their study, the researchers set up an experiment with four groups of mice. All were given an injection of melanoma cells in the scruffs of their neck. During the next two weeks, two of the groups received the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin in two doses while the other two groups received placebo injections. Mice in one of the treated groups and one of the placebo groups were put on exercise regimens, walking 45 minutes five days a week on mouse-sized treadmills, while the rest of the mice remained sedentary. After the trial, the researchers found that the mice that both received chemotherapy and had exercised developed significantly smaller tumors after two weeks than mice that only received doxorubicin.
The researchers believe exercise may have helped with shrinking the tumors by increasing blood flow to the tumor, thereby bringing more of the chemotherapy drug along with it to shrink the tumor. Further studies will look at how exercise enhances the drug doxorubicin, specifically.