Evidence suggests that exercise affects breast cancer risk and outcomes, but little is known about the mechanisms through which this effect may be mediated. This study examines the impact of exercise upon levels of adiponectin, high molecular weight adiponectin (HMWA), and leptin in breast cancer survivors.
Methods: One hundred and one sedentary, overweight breast cancer survivors were randomized to a 16-week exercise intervention or usual care control group. Anthropometric measurements were taken and fasting levels of adiponectin, HMWA and leptin were collected at baseline and 16 weeks.
Results: Baseline and week-16 measurements were available for 81 patients. The exercise group experienced a significant decrease in hip measurements, with no change in weight or body composition. There were no significant changes in adiponectin, HMWA, or leptin in either group. Modeling analyses demonstrated a significant inverse relationship between changes in leptin and adiponectin, but no relationship between changes in BMI, waist or hip circumference, or body fat percentage and change in leptin or adiponectin.
Conclusions: This study did not demonstrate a significant change in adipocytokine levels in breast cancer survivors participating in an exercise intervention, suggesting that further work is needed to explore the mechanisms through which exercise may impact breast cancer.