The following is a summary of “Pan-Cancer Analysis of Postdiagnosis Exercise and Mortality,” published in the November 2023 issue of Oncology by Lavery, et al.
For a study, researchers sought to investigate the influence of postdiagnosis exercise on cause-specific mortality in cancer survivors, exploring potential variations based on the specific cancer site.
An analysis was conducted on a cohort of 11,480 patients with cancer enrolled in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian cancer screening trial. Patients with a confirmed cancer diagnosis who completed a standardized survey assessing postdiagnosis exercise were included in the study. The primary outcome focused on all-cause mortality (ACM), with secondary endpoints examining cancer mortality and mortality from other causes. Cox models were employed to estimate cause-specific hazard ratios (HRs) for ACM, cancer, and noncancer mortality, considering adherence to exercise guidelines versus nonadherence and adjusting for essential clinical covariates.
After a median follow-up of 16 years from diagnosis, the study documented 4,665 deaths, with 1,940 attributed to cancer and 2,725 to other causes. Multivariable analyses revealed that exercise consistent with guidelines was associated with a significant 25% reduced risk of ACM compared to nonexercise (HR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.70 to 0.80). Furthermore, adherence to exercise guidelines was linked to a notable reduction in both cancer mortality (HR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.72 to 0.88) and mortality from other causes (HR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.66 to 0.78). The relationship between exercise and cause-specific mortality displayed variability based on exercise dose, demonstrating a reduced hazard of ACM for multiple cancer sites. Notably, a reduction in cancer mortality among exercisers was specifically observed in head and neck and renal cancer.
In conclusion, the study involving a diverse group of long-term cancer survivors highlighted the substantial benefits of adhering to exercise guidelines, leading to a significant decrease in ACM driven by reductions in both cancer and noncancer mortality. The impact of exercise on cause-specific mortality varied across different cancer sites.