Is physical activity effective against cancer-related fatigue in lung cancer patients? An umbrella review of systematic reviews and meta-analyses

Author: Weiqian Hou1,2, Liwen Zhai1,2, Yujie Yang3, Shanshan Gu4, Conghui Li1,2, Yao Yang1,2, Yi Zhu5
1 The Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, 450000, Henan, China.
2 Academy of Medical Sciences, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, 450000, Henan, China.
3 University of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Qingdao, 266000, Shandong, China.
4 Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
5 The Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, 450000, Henan, China.
Conference/Journal: Support Care Cancer
Date published: 2023 Feb 13
Other: Volume ID: 31 , Issue ID: 3 , Pages: 161 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1007/s00520-023-07627-4. , Word Count: 314

To discuss the effects of physical activity on cancer-related fatigue (CRF) in lung cancer patients, summarize the types of physical activity in the published reviews, assess the quality of the evidence, and provide suggestions for the clinical selection of exercise intervention.

PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews were searched through 8 November 2021 to identify relevant systematic reviews and meta-analyses. We also performed a manual search of the reference lists of included articles as supplements. Two researchers independently performed literature screening, data extraction, and quality assessment. The umbrella review has been registered in the International Prospective Register of Systematic Review (PROSPERO) registry (CRD42021292548).

From the 13 systematic reviews or meta-analyses identified, 10 physical activity interventions were included. The most mentioned intervention was aerobic combined with resistance exercise; however, no reduction of the symptoms of CRF was observed in lung cancer patients by this exercise intervention. Most of the patients who performed aerobic exercises alone showed improvement in CRF after the intervention. In addition, Tai Chi and breathing exercises have been shown to improve fatigue, but more high-quality research is still needed to support its effectiveness.

Aerobic exercise, respiratory muscle training, aerobic combined with balance training, and other exercise interventions have been shown to improve CRF in lung cancer patients. But it should be noted that according to the different treatment methods and disease stages of patients, individualized rehabilitation programs should be developed for patients. Due to the low methodological quality and evidence quality of some systematic reviews and meta-analyses included in this study, more high-quality clinical studies and systematic reviews are still needed for validation in the future. This umbrella review helps to identify effective ways of exercise to improve fatigue in lung cancer patients before dedicated evidence-based medical guidelines are established.

Keywords: Cancer-related fatigue (CRF); Lung cancer; Physical activity; Umbrella review.

PMID: 36781549 DOI: 10.1007/s00520-023-07627-4