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Exercise 'could reduce cancer risks'

Exercise 'could reduce cancer risks'
12th October 2012

Exercise could enable people to cut their chances of developing cancer in the future, according to the findings of a new study.

Laura Bilek, Graham Sharp, and Geoffrey Thiele of the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Daniel Shackelford, Colin Quinn and Carole Schneider, of Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Institute, found that when cancer survivors exercise for several weeks after they finish chemotherapy, their immune systems remodel themselves to become more effective, which potentially has the impact of fending off future incidences of cancer.

The study analysed T cells in the blood of cancer survivors before and after a 12-week exercise programme and discovered a significant portion of these immune cells converted from a senescent form, which is not believed to be as effective at combating disease, to a naive form, which is then ready to fight cancer and infections.

"What we're suggesting is that with exercise, you might be getting rid of T cells that aren't helpful and making room for T cells that might be helpful," Ms Bilek said.

A study recently conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology highlighted how cancer cells break free of tumours.

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