Public Release: 

Diet and exercise in cancer prevention and treatment: Focus of APNM special

The June issue of Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism is an important special compilation of papers investigating the impact of lifestyle modification on cancer prevention and treatment

Canadian Science Publishing (NRC Research Press)

"Cancer is a leading cause of mortality worldwide and for the foreseeable future...."

This Special Issue titled "The role of diet, body composition, and physical activity on cancer prevention, treatment, and survivorship" comprises both invited reviews and original papers investigating various themes such as the role of omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, cancer cachexia, muscle health, exercise training, adiposity and body composition.

The Special Editors were David Ma, Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, College of Biological Science, University of Guelph and Marina Mourtzakis, Department of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo. In the Foreword to the special issue they write,

"... Tremendous work has been focused on medical advances in the screening and treatment of cancer to reverse this trend. However, there is growing recognition that a greater focus on lifestyle is also needed, given that upwards of more than a third of all cancers can be prevented or symptoms of the disease can be managed through lifestyle modification. This special issue draws attention to the interrelationships and the role of body composition, diet and physical activity in cancer prevention, treatment and survivorship."

Drs. Marina Mourtzakis and David W.L. Ma, Guest Editors

Highlights from the issue:

  • The complex implications of body composition on metabolism in cancer patients is highlighted by an invited review by Chevalier and Samaneh comparing the striking metabolic similarities between cancer cachexia and type 2 diabetes (T2D). (This paper was presented (in part) at the Nutrition and Cancer Symposium, during the Canadian Nutrition Society's Annual Meeting, in Quebec City, June 2013.)

  • The invited review by Mason et al. found that several studies support that the consumption of flaxseed is safe for healthy individuals to reduce the risk of breast cancer and for individuals with breast cancer to reduce tumour growth, prevent recurrence, and improve outcomes.

  • Anderson et al. reports on the important influence of early diet on breast cancer risk and how omega-3 fatty acids may modulate pubertal mammary gland development to prevent breast cancer.

  • Ewaschuk et al. investigated the Relationship between exercise behavior, cardiorespiratory fitness, and cognitive function in early breast cancer patients treated with doxorubicin-containing chemotherapy

  • Barnes et al. provide a brief introduction to the potential role of amino acids in breast cancer patients.

  • Vance et al. explore dietary habits of breast cancer survivors and potential impact on weight management and overall health.

  • The invited review by Lira et al. provides an examination of our current understanding of exercise as a treatment for cancer cachexia through the modulation of inflammatory pathways.

  • The article by Sellar et al provides evidence for the feasibility of an exercise intervention in colorectal cancer survivors.

  • The complex interplay between exercise, fitness, behaviour and cognition are examined by Crowgey et al. in a pilot study involving early breast cancer patients.

  • In a short term study by Simonavice et al. they show that resistance training in tandem with plums may confer synergistic benefits in breast cancer survivors.

  • Murphy et al. provide new insight into obesity and cancer in old age, and suggest that interventions to target visceral adipose in addition to promotion of healthy body weight may impact future cancer risk.

  • Prado et al. reported on the association between body composition and toxicities from treatments in patients with advanced relapsed ovarian cancer.

Overall, this special issue highlights the many facets and impact of body composition, diet, and exercise on the prevention, treatment and survivorship of cancer.


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