The following article features coverage from the Connective Tissue Oncology Society (CTOS) in Maui, Hawaii. Click here to read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s conference coverage.

Exercise during or after the administration of doxorubicin mitigates chemotherapy-related cardiotoxicity, according to an oral presentation at the Connective Tissue Oncology Society (CTOS) 2017 Annual Meeting.1 Exercise does not, furthermore, attenuate doxorubicin efficacy.

Doxorubicin is frequently used for patients with sarcoma, though the drug is associated with cardiotoxicity and late cardiac morbidity. For this murine-based study, researchers injected Ewing sarcoma cells into mice to determine the effects of exercise on doxorubicin efficacy and treatment-related cardiotoxicity.

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The mice were split into 4 groups: control, doxorubicin, exercise (using a motorized treadmill), and doxorubicin plus exercise. The researchers evaluated for ejection fraction, fractional shortening, heart weight and tibia length, autophagosomes, and effects on vascular endothelial cells/pericytes. The effects of exercise were measured both for exercise during and after doxorubicin therapy.

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Doxorubicin was clinically active regardless of exercise regimen. Mice who received doxorubicin without exercising had decreases in ejection fraction, fractional shortening, heart weight, and tibia length, as well as increased autophagosomes. Mice who exercised and underwent doxorubicin treatment did not have these effects.

Mice who began exercise post–doxorubicin therapy, furthermore, had mitigated cardiotoxicity.

The authors concluded that exercise “interventions have the potential to decrease cardiac morbidity thereby improving cardiac health and the [quality of life] for cancer survivors.”


  1. Kleinerman ES, Wang F, Chandra J, Schadler K. Exercise strategies in a tumor model to decrease acute and late doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity. Oral presentation at: Connective Tissue Oncology Society (CTOS) 2017 Annual Meeting. November 8-11, 2017; Maui, Hawaii.

This article originally appeared on Cancer Therapy Advisor