Preliminary Evidence on the Effects of Exercise on Tumor Biology: a Potential Guide for Prescribing Exercise

An Ngo-Huang, Brian C. Fricke, Keri L. Schadler, Nathan H. Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: This report reviews the preliminary evidence of how exercise may alter the tumor microenvironment and tumor biology in animal and human studies and how to incorporate this information in clinical practice of oncology rehabilitation. Recent Findings: Potential mechanisms explaining the impact of exercise on the tumor microenvironment include activating and mobilizing immune cells, reducing inflammation, and modifying tumor vasculature which enhances the delivery of anticancer therapies. Pre-clinical data translates to promising preliminary data in human studies; however, randomized, controlled trials in patients are limited. Summary: Despite the paucity of robust data demonstrating the beneficial effects of exercise on tumor biology, the strong observational and epidemiological data and limited interventional trials encourage the continued prescribing of exercise by rehabilitation professionals for cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-141
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Cancer rehabilitation
  • Exercise is medicine
  • Exercise oncology
  • Exercise prescription
  • Tumor biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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