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Cytokine. 2011 Aug;55(2):274-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2011.04.007. Epub 2011 May 19.

Benefits of exercise training on breast cancer progression and inflammation in C3(1)SV40Tag mice.

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Department of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology, School of Medicine, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29209, United States.


Many observational epidemiologic studies suggest an association between exercise and breast cancer risk. However, the lack of controlled experimental studies that examine this relationship and the mechanisms involved weaken the basis for inferring a causal relationship. Inflammation plays a role in breast cancer progression and exercise has been reported to reduce inflammation; however, the anti-inflammatory effects of exercise in breast cancer have yet to be established. We examined the relationship between exercise training and systemic inflammation in relation to breast cancer progression in C3(1)SV40Tag mice. Female C3(1)SV40Tag mice were assigned to either exercise (Ex) or sedentary (Sed) treatment (n=12-14/group). Beginning at 4 wks of age mice (Ex) were run on a treadmill for 60 min/d (20 m/min and 5% grade), 6 d/wk for a period of 20 wks. Mice were examined weekly for palpable tumors, and tumor number and volume were recorded. At 24 wks of age mice were sacrificed and a more direct measure of tumor number and volume, and spleen weight was recorded. Plasma was analyzed for MCP-1 and IL-6 concentration using ELISA. Ex reduced palpable tumor number at sacrifice (24 wks) by approximately 70% (P<0.05). Tumor volume was also reduced in Ex at 21-23 wks (P<0.05). This reduction in tumor progression by Ex was associated with a reduction in plasma concentration of MCP-1 and IL-6, and spleen weight (P<0.05). These data provide strong support for a beneficial effect of exercise training on tumor progression in the C3(1)SV40Tag mouse model of breast cancer that may be partly mediated by its anti-inflammatory potential.

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