Danish researchers from the Centre for Physical Activity (CFAS) at Rigshospitalet and the University of Copenhagen have proven that intense exercise slows down the growth of cancer tumours in mice.
The researchers studied the difference in mice with cancer that ran for four kilometres per day and mice that didn’t run at all and found that the exercising mice had 50-60 percent fewer tumours after three weeks.
“What happens is that while the mice are exercising they are recruiting immune cells to their blood flow,” Pernille Højman, one of the authors of the study, told Videnskab.dk.
“The immune cells then find their way to the tumour and can control how fast it grows.”
The intense training also means the activated muscles indirectly give the cells a final push in the battle against the tumour.
During exercise, the muscles produce the so-called IL-6, an immune protein that helps the immune cells enter the tumour.
Højman said that she intends to continue her studies on humans suffering from cancer.