Exercise training and cytokines in breast cancer survivors

Int J Sports Med. 2011 Jun;32(6):461-7. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1271697. Epub 2011 Mar 4.


The purpose of this randomized controlled trial was to determine the effects of an 8-week (aerobic+strength) exercise training program (3 sessions/week) on the circulating cytokine levels of breast cancer survivors. We randomly allocated 16 female survivors of breast cancer (mean±SD age: 50±5 years) to an intervention or usual care (control) group (N=8 in each group). The intervention group followed an 8-week exercise program consisting of 3 sessions/week (session duration: 90 min). We measured the levels of the following cytokines before and after the intervention: beta-NGF, CTACK, eotaxin, FGF basic, G-CSF, gmCSFα, HGF, ICAM1, IFNα2, IFNγ, IL1α, IL1ß, IL1ra, IL2, IL2ra, IL3, IL4, IL6, IL7, IL8, IL9, IL10, IL12, IL13, IL15, IL16, IL17, IL18, IP10, LIF, MCS-F, MIP1α, MIP1β, MIF, MCP1, MCP3, MIG, PDGF bb, SCF, SCGFβ, SDF1α, TRAIL, TNFα, TNFβ, VCAM1, and VEGF. We only observed a significant interaction (group*time) effect for CTACK ( P=0.016), with mean values remaining stable in the intervention group but increasing over time in controls. The intervention program did not induce a significant decrease in the main breast cancer-related cytokines such as IL6 and IL8. A combined (aerobic+strength) 8-week exercise training intervention did not induce major changes in the basal cytokine levels of breast cancer survivors.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Neoplasms / rehabilitation*
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-8 / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Resistance Training / methods
  • Survivors


  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-6
  • Interleukin-8