Randomized controlled trial of the effects of aerobic exercise on physical functioning and quality of life in lymphoma patients.

Lymphoma patients commonly experience declines in physical functioning and quality of life (QoL) that may be reversed with exercise training. This randomized controlled trial stratified 122 lymphoma patients by major disease type and current treatment status and randomly assigned them to usual care or 12 weeks of supervised aerobic exercise training. The primary end point was patient-rated physical functioning assessed by the Trial Outcome Index-Anemia. Secondary end points were overall QoL, psychosocial functioning, cardiovascular fitness, and body composition. Follow-up assessment for our primary end point was 96% at postintervention and 90% at 6-month follow-up.  At postintervention, AET was superior to UC for patient-rated physical functioning, overall QoL, fatigue, happiness, depression, general health, cardiovascular fitness, and lean body mass. Change in peak cardiovascular fitness mediated the change in patient-rated physical functioning. AET did not interfere with chemotherapy completion rate or treatment response.

AET significantly improved important patient-rated outcomes and objective physical functioning in lymphoma patients without interfering with medical treatments or response. Exercise training to improve cardiovascular fitness should be considered in the management of lymphoma patients.

Courneya KS, Sellar CM, Stevinson C, et al. Randomized controlled trial of the effects of aerobic exercise on physical functioning and quality of life in lymphoma patients. J Clin Oncol. 2009 Sep 20;27(27):4605-12

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