High Intensity Exercise Limits Cancer Growth

Short sessions of high intensity exercise may limit colorectal cancer (CRC) growth. Researchers recruited 20 patients who survived CRC and split them into an acute group who completed a single session of high intensity interval training (HIIT) (serum samples were collected at baseline and at 0 and 120 minutes after exercise) and a chronic group who participated in 12 HIIT sessions over 4 weeks (resting serum samples were collected before and after the 4 weeks of training). In addition, cells from the acute group were incubated and analyzed for number of cells present. Results showed significant increases in serum interleukin-6 & 8 as well as TNF-alpha – cytokines that are associated with cancer growth reduction. But these increased cytokine levels were only observed in serum collected immediately after exercise and not in those collected 120 minutes post-exercise. Journal of Physiology

→Takeaway: Past studies have shown a link between exercise and CRC survival. Researchers who conducted the study believe that repetitive exposure to the acute effects of high intensity exercise could help explain this link.