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Effect of exercise before and/or during taxane-containing chemotherapy treatment on chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy symptoms in women with breast cancer: systematic review and meta-analysis

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sam OrangeORCiD, Dr Nicola Cresti



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2023, The Author(s).Purpose: To systematically review and meta-analyse the efficacy of exercise interventions delivered before and/or during taxane-containing chemotherapy regimens on chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), fatigue, and health-related quality of life (HR-QoL), in women with breast cancer. Methods: Seven electronic databases were systematically searched for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) reporting on the effects of exercise interventions in women with breast cancer receiving taxane-containing chemotherapeutic treatment. Meta-analyses evaluated the effects of exercise on CIPN symptoms, fatigue, and HR-QoL. Results: Ten trials involving exercise interventions ranging between 2 and 12 months were included. The combined results of four RCTs consisting of 171 participants showed a reduction in CIPN symptoms following exercise compared with usual care (standardised mean difference − 0.71, 95% CI − 1.24 to − 0.17, p = 0.012; moderate-quality evidence, I 2 = 76.9%). Pooled results from six RCTs with 609 participants showed that exercise interventions before and/or during taxane-containing chemotherapy regimens improved HR-QoL (SMD 0.42, 95% CI 0.07 to 0.76, p = 0.03; moderate-quality evidence, I 2 = 49.6%). There was no evidence of an effect of exercise on fatigue (− 0.39, 95% CI − 0.95 to 0.18, p = 0.15; very low-quality evidence, I 2 = 90.1%). Conclusions: This systematic review found reduced levels of CIPN symptoms and an improvement in HR-QoL in women with breast cancer who exercised before and/or during taxane-based chemotherapy versus usual care controls. Implications for Cancer Survivors: This evidence supports the role of exercise as an adjunctive treatment for attenuating the adverse effects of taxane-containing chemotherapy on CIPN symptoms and HR-QoL.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Brownson-Smith R, Orange ST, Cresti N, Hunt K, Saxton J, Temesi J

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Cancer Survivorship

Year: 2023

Pages: epub ahead of print

Online publication date: 24/08/2023

Acceptance date: 13/08/2023

ISSN (print): 1932-2259

ISSN (electronic): 1932-2267

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s11764-023-01450-w