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Cancer Nurs. 2013 Jul-Aug;36(4):E27-34. doi: 10.1097/NCC.0b013e318268f7d5.

Regular tai chi exercise decreases the percentage of type 2 cytokine-producing cells in postsurgical non-small cell lung cancer survivors.

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  • 1School of Kinesiology, Shanghai University of Sport, China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Tai Chi combines aspects of meditation and aerobic exercise. Its effect on the balance between cellular and humoral immunity, which potentiates human immunity against tumors, remains to be determined.

OBJECTIVE:

The objective was to investigate the effect of a 16-week Tai Chi exercise intervention on the recovery of postsurgical non-small cell lung cancer survivors.

INTERVENTIONS/METHODS:

A controlled study was performed in 32 lung cancer survivors who practiced Tai Chi during a 16-week period. The percentages of interferon γ-producing CD3 T lymphocyte cells (T1) and interleukin 4-producing CD3 T lymphocyte cells (T2) and CD3 T lymphocyte subsets (T helper cell type 1 [TH1], TH2; cytotoxic T cell type 1 [Tc1], Tc2) were determined as well as levels of hormones β-endorphin, general catecholamines, and cortisol.

RESULTS:

Whereas the T1/T2 and Tc1/Tc2 ratios in the control group decreased in the natural course of postsurgical non-small cell lung cancer recovery (both P < .01), no changes were observed in the Tai Chi group. The differences in changes in the T1/T2 and Tc1/Tc2 ratios (both P < .01) and in T2 and Tc2 levels (P < .01) between the 2 groups were significant. The cortisol level increased in the control group (P < .05) but not in Tai Chi group.

CONCLUSIONS:

A 16-week Tai Chi exercise significantly diminished the magnitude of the decreased T1/T2 ratio in the natural course of recovery in a population of postsurgical non-small cell lung cancer survivors.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:

Tai Chi may have a role in ameliorating the imbalance between humoral and cellular immunity, potentiating human immunity against tumors.

PMID:
23051870
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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