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Br J Cancer. 2018 May;118(10):1313-1321. doi: 10.1038/s41416-018-0044-7. Epub 2018 May 8.

Effects of high-intensity interval training on fatigue and quality of life in testicular cancer survivors.

Author information

1
Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2H9, Canada.
2
Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, 10017, USA.
3
Department of Surgery, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2B7, Canada.
4
Alberta Urology Institute Research Centre, Edmonton, AB, T6G 1Z1, Canada.
5
Department of Oncology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2R7, Canada.
6
Cross Cancer Institute, Edmonton, AB, T6G 1Z2, Canada.
7
Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2H9, Canada. kerry.courneya@ualberta.ca.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Testicular cancer survivors (TCS) are at increased risk of cancer-related fatigue (CRF), psychosocial impairment, and poor mental health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Here, we examine the effects of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in TCS. Secondarily, we explore cardiorespiratory fitness as a mediator of intervention effects and select baseline characteristics as moderators of intervention effects.

METHODS:

TCS (n = 63) were randomly assigned to 12 weeks of supervised HIIT or usual care (UC). PROs included CRF, depression, anxiety, stress, self-esteem, sleep quality, and HRQoL assessed at baseline, post-intervention, and 3-month follow-up.

RESULTS:

TCS (median 7 years postdiagnosis) completed 99% of training sessions and achieved 98% of target training intensity. ANCOVA revealed that, compared to UC, HIIT significantly improved post-intervention CRF (p = 0.003), self-esteem (p = 0.029), and multiple HRQoL domains (ps ≤ 0.05). Effects on CRF (p = 0.031) and vitality (p = 0.015) persisted at 3-month follow-up. Cardiorespiratory fitness changes mediated CRF and HRQoL improvements. CRF effects were larger for TCS with an inactive lifestyle, lower fitness, higher testosterone, and clinical fatigue at baseline.

CONCLUSIONS:

HIIT significantly improves CRF and HRQoL in TCS. Mediation by cardiorespiratory fitness and moderation by clinical characteristics suggests opportunities for targeted exercise interventions to optimise PROs in TCS.

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