Objective: Oxidative DNA damage is believed to be involved in tumor formation and may be an important biomarker for malignant transition or relapse. A decrease of such damage has been observed in human and animal studies following dietary intervention and/or changes in lifestyle such as physical exercise at different levels of intensity. The purpose of this study was to carry out a clinical trial comparing the effects of a short-term (2 weeks) exercise program of moderate intensity (0.3-0.4 x maximal exercise capacity) (MI) versus high intensity (0.5-0.6 x maximal exercise capacity) (HI) on individual urinary excretion of 8-oxo-dG before and after completion of the exercise programs.
Material and methods: In this short-term, prospective and randomized trial, 19 patients with colorectal cancer were allocated to the MI group following primary therapy and 29 to the HI group. Urinary 8-oxo-dG excretion concentration was determined by a highly sensitive detection method using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (HPLC-ESI-MS). Concentrations were determined immediately before and after completion of the exercise programs.
Results: Using HPLC-ESI-MS, it was shown that MI exercise significantly reduced urinary 8-oxo-dG excretion levels from 8.47 +/- 1.99 to 5.81 +/- 1.45 (ng/mg creatinine, mean +/- SE, p = 0.02), whereas HI exercise resulted in a non-significant increase from 5.00 +/- 1.31 to 7.11 +/- 1.63 (ng/mg creatinine, p = 0.18). Clinical characteristics (gender, age, body mass index (BMI), diet, chemotherapy/irradiation) were not associated/correlated with urinary 8-oxo-dG levels.
Conclusions: By using HPLC-ESI-MS it was shown that short-term MI exercise after primary therapy in patients with colorectal cancer was associated with lower levels of urinary 8-oxo-dG, suggesting decreased oxidative DNA damage. In contrast, HI exercise tended to increase DNA damage. A prospective trial is now warranted to prove that reduced oxidative DNA damage lowers the risk of relapse of colorectal cancer in treated patients.