Impact of exercise on the immune system and outcomes in hematologic malignancies

Blood Adv. 2020 Apr 28;4(8):1801-1811. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2019001317.


Exercise is increasingly recognized as important to cancer care. The biology of how exercise improves outcomes is not well understood, however. Studies show that exercise favorably influences the immune system in healthy individuals (neutrophils, monocytes, natural killer cells, T cells, and a number of cytokines). Thus, exercise in patients with hematologic cancer could significantly improve immune function and tumor microenvironment. We performed a literature search and identified 7 studies examining exercise and the immune environment in hematologic malignancies. This review focuses on the role of exercise and physical activity on the immune system in hematologic malignancies and healthy adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise
  • Hematologic Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Killer Cells, Natural
  • Tumor Microenvironment