From the article:
‘In this study, researchers looked at 572 prostate cancer patients and found that those who walked at a faster pace before their diagnosis had more regularly shaped blood vessels in their prostate tumors than those who walked slowly.’
This is initial evidence of a hypothesis that I’ve been advocating, that exercise ‘normalizes’ tumor blood vessels, and that this is a good thing, particularly before chemotherapy or radiation which both work better with more oxygen. This is contrary to the anti-angiogenic (choke off the blood supply of tumors) dogma that is dominant in oncology. Although, some anti-angiogenic drugs do temporarily ‘normalize’ tumor blood flow, I think exercise will be found to do it better and also with less side effects, which many of the anti-angiogenic drugs cause.
Rakesh Jain at the Harvard Medical School is a pioneer in this vascular normalization area but with drug interventions. Therefore, it is encouraging to read the results from this human study that suggest that exercise may be doing the same thing. There have been some animal studies showing this but to my knowledge, this is the first one from tumors in humans.
For what it is worth, my advice, and what I applied to my own treatments (including exercising during chemotherapy infusion), is to exercise before first cancer treatment (as soon as you are diagnosed, or symptomatic if experiencing a recurrence) in order to improve tumor blood flow, which in theory should improve drug perfusion or the response to radiation. This should improve treatment response rates, which I hope this study will spur many investigations on.
Keep moving, even if feeling fatigued on some days. Do not let tumors gain any more advantage than they already have, influence their dysfunctional vasculature growth by normalizing it with exercise!
- http://www.cell.com/retrieve/pii/S0092867409000683 (not an exercise study)