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How Exercise Influences Natural Killer Cells to Shrink Tumors

by Reshma Anand on February 18, 2016 at 4:45 PM
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How Exercise Influences Natural Killer Cells to Shrink Tumors

Exercising regularly can reduce cancer spread and recurrence, revealed a new study.

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen conducted a study on mice to understand how regular exercise involves in cancer reduction. The study was published in the Journal Cell Metabolism.

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Mice with tumors were put on voluntary wheel training while another group of mice was the controls. The mice who spent time running on the wheel shrunk their tumors by 50 percent compared to their less active counterparts.

The primary factor that reduced the size of tumors was adrenaline, which guides Interleukin- 6 (IL-6), natural killer cells to act on tumors. Adrenaline production is triggered by exercise. Infiltration of natural killer(NK) immune cells can control and regulate the size of tumors. Therefore, exercise can help prevent cancer spread and recurrence.
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"As someone working in the field of exercise and oncology, one of the main questions that cancer patients always ask is: how should I exercise? Can we do anything? While it has previously been difficult to advise people about the intensity at which they should exercise, our data suggests that it might be beneficial to exercise at a somewhat high intensity in order to provoke a good epinephrine surge and hence recruitment of NK cells," said Hojman.

Reference: Pernille Hojman, Line Pedersen et al. Voluntary Running Suppresses Tumor Growth through Epinephrine- and IL-6-Dependent NK Cell Mobilization and Redistribution, Cell Metabolism 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2016.01.011.

Source: Medindia
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