EXERCISE TO PREVENT ANTHRACYCLINE-BASED CARDIOTOXICITY IN INDIVIDUALS WITH BREAST OR HEMATOLOGICAL CANCERS
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Anthracyclines (ACs) are a powerful anti-cancer drug used to treat a wide range of cancers, including those of the breast and blood. It is well established that ACs can lead to cardiac dysfunction and heart failure well within the desired dosing range used to treat these cancers. Current management tools such as dexrazoxane and heart failure medications are in question and often do not fully treat the cardiotoxicity. However, there is strong preclinical evidence to suggest aerobic exercise therapy (AET) can be used as an alternative or complimentary therapy to prevent AC-mediated cardiotoxicity. Before investing in a large clinical trial, the feasibility of performing AET with AC-treated cancer patients must be known. Specifically, the feasibility of conducting it within the researcher’s geographical area (Halifax, Nova Scotia (NS), a smaller Canadian metropolis). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the feasibility of a 12-week individualized AET intervention to mitigate AC-mediated cardiotoxicity and adverse patient outcomes in Halifax, NS. The primary study objective was to examine the intervention’s feasibility, including recruitment, adherence, retention, and safety. Secondary study objectives evaluated cardiorespiratory fitness, biomarkers of cardiotoxicity, and self-reported functional and fatigue questionnaires. Overall, the intervention was deemed feasible after comparing to similar studies that were in other geographical areas. The feasibility statistics for the present study were within the range of comparator studies. No changes were found in secondary outcome measures, suggesting that AET could have prevented a detrimental change in these measures. In conclusion, a 12-week aerobic exercise intervention in cancer patients with breast or hematological cancers is feasible in Halifax, NS.