Indexed on: 14 Mar '19Published on: 07 Mar '19Published in: Cancer
The objective of this study was to evaluate the role of a 12-month exercise intervention on endocrine-related quality of life (QOL) and overall QOL among breast cancer survivors with aromatase inhibitor (AI)-induced arthralgia in the Hormones and Physical Exercise (HOPE) Study. This was a randomized controlled trial of 121 breast cancer survivors who were currently receiving AIs and experiencing at least mild arthralgia. QOL was assessed using the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy (FACT) questionnaires and the 36-Item Short Form Survey (SF-36) at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months. Participants were randomized to either a 1-year gym-based, supervised exercise intervention group (150 minutes of aerobic exercise and 2 strength-training sessions each week) or a usual care group. Effects of the intervention on QOL were assessed using mixed-model, repeated-measures analysis. At 12 months, the exercise group had greater improvement in the overall QOL measures as well as the breast cancer-specific (scores, 2.2 vs 0.7; P = .02), endocrine-specific (scores, 5.6 vs 1.6; P < .001), and fatigue-specific (score, 5.8 vs 0.5; P < .001) subscales compared with the usual care group. The results indicated a stronger effect at 12 months versus 6 months after the intervention. Combined aerobic and resistance exercise, such as treadmill walking and strength training, improved endocrine-related and overall QOL among breast cancer survivors who were experiencing adverse side effects from AIs. Because adverse side effects associated with AI use are quite common and this is the main reason for treatment discontinuation, this nonpharmacologic intervention could benefit many breast cancer survivors and increase successful adherence to AIs in breast cancer treatment. © 2019 American Cancer Society.