Therapeutic yoga reduces pro-tumorigenic cytokines in cancer survivors

Darpan I. Patel, G. J. Almeida, N. T. Darby, M. C. Serra, T. Calderon, A. Lapetoda, B. Gutierrez, A. G. Ramirez, D. C. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Chronic inflammation can remain many years after the completion of cancer treatment and is associated with cancer recurrence. The purpose of this study was to examine how a 16-week therapeutic yoga program (TYP) modulates the cytokine profile in heterogeneous cancer survivors. Methods: Eligible participants were 18 years of age or older and clinically diagnosed with cancer. Consenting participants were asked to attend three, 75-min sessions weekly of TYP with meditation. Seventeen patients provided blood samples at baseline and end of study. Eight cytokines (interferon (IFN)-γ; interleukin (IL)-1b, IL-1ra, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10; and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α), three receptors (sIL-6R, sTNFRI, sTNFRII), and C-reactive protein (CRP) were quantified. Results: Patients were 59.6 ± 7.3 years old; over half (56%) were overweight or obese BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2); majority were female (71%) and breast cancer survivors (65%), of which 44% were Hispanic. Marked reductions were observed in all cytokines except IL-4, with significant reductions (p < 0.05) found in IL-1b (− 13%) and IL-1ra (− 13%). No significant changes were observed in soluble cytokine receptors or CRP. Conclusions: TYP led to significant reduction in circulating cytokines associated with chronic inflammation in a heterogeneous sample of cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number33
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Body composition
  • Immunology
  • Physical activity
  • Recurrence
  • Survivorship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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