Aerobic activities can reduce the risk of metastatic cancer by 72%.

Summary: Aerobic exercise reduces the risk of metastatic cancer by increasing glucose consumption.

source: Tel Aviv University

A new study at Tel Aviv University found that aerobic exercise can reduce the risk of metastatic cancer by 72%.

According to the researchers, intense aerobic exercise increases the consumption of glucose (sugar) by the internal organs, and thus reduces the availability of energy to the tumor.

The study was led by two researchers from the University of Washington School of Medicine, Professor Carmit Levy of the Department of Human Genetics and Biochemistry and Dr. Yiftah Gibner of the School of Public Health and the Sylvan Adams Mathematical Institute. Professor Levy emphasizes that by bringing together scientific knowledge from different TAU ​​schools, the new study has led to a very important discovery that may help prevent metastatic cancer – the leading cause of death in Israel.

The paper has been published in the prestigious journal cancer research She was chosen for the cover of the November 2022 issue.

Prof. Levy and Dr. Gibner: “Studies have shown that physical exercise reduces the risk of some types of cancer by up to 35%. This positive effect is similar to the effect of exercise on other conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes. In this study we added new insight, showing that High-intensity aerobic exercise, which gets its energy from sugar, can reduce the risk of metastatic cancer by up to 72%.

“If the general message to the public so far has been ‘Be active, be healthy’, we can now explain how aerobic activity can increase prevention of the most aggressive and metastatic form of cancer.”

The study combined an animal model in which mice were trained under a strict exercise regimen, with data from healthy human volunteers who were examined before and after running.

Human data, obtained from an epidemiological study that monitored 3,000 individuals for nearly 20 years, indicated a 72% reduction in the incidence of metastatic cancer in participants who reported regular aerobic activity at a high intensity, compared to those who did not engage in physical exercise.

The animal model showed a similar result, which also enabled the researchers to pinpoint the mechanism behind it. By taking samples from the internal organs of healthy animals, before and after physical exercise, as well as after an injection of cancer, they found that aerobic activity significantly reduces the development of metastatic tumors in the lymph nodes, lungs and liver.

The researchers hypothesized that in both humans and model animals, this positive outcome is associated with the enhanced rate of glucose consumption brought about by exercise.

Professor Levy: “Our study is the first to look at the effect of exercise on internal organs where metastases usually develop, such as the lungs, liver and lymph nodes.

“When examining the cells of these organs, we found a spike in the number of glucose receptors during high-intensity aerobic activity — increasing glucose intake and turning the organs into efficient energy-consuming machines, much like muscles.

“We hypothesize that this occurs because organs must compete for sugar resources with muscles, which are known to burn large amounts of glucose during physical exercise.

As a result, if cancer develops, fierce competition for glucose reduces the availability of energy, which is essential for the spread of malignancy. Moreover, when a person exercises regularly, this condition becomes permanent: the tissues of the internal organs change and become similar to muscle tissue. We all know that sports and physical exercises are good for our health.

“Our study, which examined the internal organs, discovered that exercise changes the whole body, so that the cancer does not spread, and the size of the primary tumor also shrinks.”

It shows a person running
The researchers hypothesized that in both humans and model animals, this positive outcome is associated with the enhanced rate of glucose consumption brought about by exercise. The image is in the public domain

Dr. Gepner adds: “Our results indicate that unlike fat-burning exercise, which is relatively moderate, it is a high-intensity aerobic activity that helps prevent cancer. If the optimal intensity range for fat burning is 65-70% of maximum heart rate, sugar burning is It requires 80-85% – even if only for short periods.

“Example: 1-minute sprint followed by walking, then another sprint. In the past, such intervals were often typical of athletes’ training regimens, but today we also see them in other exercise routines, such as cardiopulmonary rehabilitation.

“Our results suggest that healthy individuals should also include high-intensity components in their fitness programs. We believe that future studies will enable personalized medicine to prevent specific cancers, with physicians reviewing family history to recommend the right type of physical activity.”

“It should be emphasized that physical exercise, with its unique metabolic and physiological effects, demonstrates a higher level of cancer prevention than any drug or medical intervention to date.”

About this cancer and exercise research news

author: Shahar nougat
source: Tel Aviv University
Contact: Noga Shachar – Tel Aviv University
picture: The image is in the public domain

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Exercise-induced metabolic shielding in distant organs prevents cancer development and metastasisBy Carmit Levy et al. cancer research


Exercise-induced metabolic shielding in distant organs prevents cancer development and metastasis

Exercise prevents the occurrence and recurrence of cancer, yet the mechanism behind this relationship remains mostly unknown.

Here we report that exercise induces metabolic reprogramming of internal organs that increases demand for nutrients and protects against metastatic colonization by reducing tumour-nutrient availability, thereby generating an exercise-induced metabolic shield.

Analyzes of the protein metabolic capacity and ex vivo internal organs of mice revealed that exercise stimulates catabolic processes, glucose uptake, mitochondrial activity, and GLUT expression. Active human plasma proteome analysis has routinely shown increased carbohydrate utilization after exercise.

Epidemiological data from a 20-year prospective study of a large human cohort of initially cancer-free participants revealed that pre-cancer initiation exercise had a modest effect on the incidence of cancer in low metastatic stages, but significantly reduced the likelihood of developing highly metastatic cancer.

In three models of melanoma in mice, exercise before a cancer injection significantly protected against metastasis to distant organs.

The protective effects of exercise were dependent on mTOR activity, and inhibition of the mTOR pathway with ex vivo rapamycin treatment reversed the exercise-induced metabolic shield. Under the glucose-limited conditions, more glucose was taken up by the active stroma at the expense of the tumor.

Collectively, these data suggest a clash between cancer metabolic plasticity and exercise-induced metabolic reprogramming, which increases the chance of preventing metastasis by challenging the metabolic needs of the tumor.

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