medwireNews: ASCO has provided evidence-based recommendations to guide lifestyle changes in people undergoing anticancer therapy.
To develop the clinical practice guideline, an expert panel drew on 52 systematic reviews and 23 randomized controlled trials of exercise, dietary, and weight management interventions administered during systemic therapy or radiotherapy. The most common tumor types in the studies were breast, prostate, lung, and colorectal cancer.
“Oncology providers should recommend aerobic and resistance exercise during active treatment with curative intent,” and they “may recommend preoperative exercise for patients undergoing surgery for lung cancer,” say the guideline authors.
They note that there is “insufficient evidence” to make recommendations for or against dietary and weight management interventions, adding that this lack of evidence “should be a call to conduct more research in these critical areas.”
The authors emphasize, however, that they are “not discouraging clinicians from discussing healthy diet and weight with their patients,” just refraining from making specific recommendations.
Author Jennifer Ligibel (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, USA) said in a comment to the press that “[t]his guidance lays to rest the common belief that patients should ‘rest’ during cancer treatment, suggesting instead that engaging in regular exercise during cancer treatment can help patients avoid toxicity and recover more quickly from cancer treatment.”
The guideline is published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
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