Cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD) are leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Vascular endothelial dysfunction, an important contributor in the development of CVD, improves with exercise training in patients with CVD. However, the role of regular exercise to improve vascular function in cancer survivors remains equivocal. We performed a meta-analysis to determine the effect of exercise training on vascular endothelial function in cancer survivors. We searched PubMed (1975 to 2016), EMBASE CINAHL (1937 to 2016), OVID MEDLINE (1948 to 2016), and Cochrane Central Registry of Controlled Trials (1991 to 2016) using search terms: vascular function, endothelial function, flow-mediated dilation [FMD], reactive hyperemia, exercise, and cancer. Studies selected were randomized controlled trials of exercise training on vascular endothelial function in cancer survivors. We calculated pooled effect sizes and performed a meta-analysis. We identified 4 randomized controlled trials (breast cancer, n=2; prostate cancer, n=2) measuring vascular endothelial function by FMD (n=3) or reactive hyperemia index (n=1), including 163 cancer survivors (exercise training, n=82; control, n=81). Aerobic exercise training improved vascular function (n=4 studies; standardized mean difference [95% CI]=0.65 [0.33, 0.96], I2=0%; FMD, weighted mean difference [WMD]=1.28 [0.22, 2.34], I2=23.2%) and peak exercise oxygen uptake (3 trials; WMD [95% CI]=2.22 [0.83, 3.61] mL/kg/min; I2=0%). Our findings indicate that exercise training improves vascular endothelial function and exercise capacity in breast and prostate cancer survivors.
- exercise training
- vascular endothelial function
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Complementary and alternative medicine