Researchers at Edith Cowan University recently found that exercise may be a key weapon in fighting cancer. More specifically, exercise causes the muscles to secrete proteins called myokines into the blood, which can suppress tumor growth and actively fight cancerous cells. The findings for this study were published in the Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
The researchers conducted a clinical trial that saw 10 prostate cancer patients undergo regular exercise training for 12 weeks. The patients provided blood samples before and after the exercise program, and these blood samples were then applied directly onto living prostate cancer cells.
"When we took their pre-exercise blood and their post-exercise blood and placed it over living prostate cancer cells, we saw a significant suppression of the growth of those cells from the post-training blood. That's quite substantial indicating chronic exercise creates a cancer suppressive environment in the body," explained Robert Newton, study supervisor and professor.
Newton furthered this by explaining that exercise also compliments other prostate cancer treatments like androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), which all study participants were undergoing with the training program.
While the study was very small and focused on prostate cancer patients, Newton believes the findings could have a wider impact.