Resistance training in breast cancer patients undergoing primary treatment: A systematic review and meta-regression of exercise dosage
Exercise Medicine Research Institute / School of Medical and Health Sciences
National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) in Prostate Cencer Survivorship Scholarship.
© 2020, The Japanese Breast Cancer Society. Background: Exercise is recognised as an adjunct therapy for breast cancer patients; however, little is known about the resistance training dose–response. We conducted a systematic review and meta-regression to examine the resistance training dose–response (i.e., volume and intensity) in breast cancer patients undergoing primary treatment. Methods: Searches in MEDLINE, CINAHL, and SPORTDiscus were conducted for studies published up to November 2019. Experimental studies that evaluated resistance-based exercise interventions in women with breast cancer undergoing primary treatment were included. Information about resistance training components, average change and change per week, as well as standardised mean difference were extracted, and used for meta-regression analysis. Outcome measures were upper and lower body muscle strength and body composition. Results: 10 trials were included in the systematic review and 4 trials in the dose–response analysis. Resistance training weekly prescribed volume was inversely associated with increases in upper and lower body muscle strength (r2 = 98.1–100%; p = 0.009), although there was no relationship between resistance training intensity and strength gains. There was insufficient data for the dose–response analysis of body mass index, percent body fat, and lean mass. Conclusion: Low volume resistance training might be a suitable exercise recommendation for breast cancer patients undergoing primary treatment producing superior benefits for muscle strength compared to higher volume training, regardless of the training intensity. Low volume resistance training may provide a conservative and appropriate approach for breast cancer patients, allowing gradual progression and modification throughout the exercise program.