Could Exercise in Childrenoward Advance in Weaponizing Science?

Beating disease can be very tough to get patients on medication especially in underserved areas living in poverty. The problem is prevalent in low-income Americans living in urban and suburban neighborhoods and in regions where obesity rates are high. But a new study published in the Archives of Medical Mycology suggests that exercise in children toward shedding light on the fundamental molecular interactions of metabolically active blood cells in their bloodstream could prove to be a promising therapeutic tool to help combat malnutrition in underserved populations such as in childrens hospitals.

A collaborative research effort led by the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center was able to show that daily exercise in 24 children hospitalized with acute L. monocytogenes infections in the Rogel Cancer Center U-M led by Philip J. Haughton PhD Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at U-M improved the immune system response and reduced the amount of tumor-associated cell growth. Publishing in the journal Cell Reports the study provides the first further demonstration that exercise can be effective at fighting parasitic infections of children in poor more rural settings.

We have this major data set of the impact of exercise on children with cancer. This is a very powerful discovery said Rogel Cancer Center Director Paula Ruedy PhD of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. It suggests something very interesting that exercise doesnt impair the immune system but that it impact a subset of immune cells that are important for viral immune responses.

Regular exercise is a form of self-indulgent behavior aimed at increasing physical performance. The idea of exercise derives from the premise that physical function can precede emotional health. Thus it has become a popular fitness mantra that physical impairments like physical disabilities expose people to negative environmental pressures and provide an additional opportunity for self-exploration and adaptive behavior.

To gain insight into the potential therapeutic impact of exercise an international team of scientists led by U-Ms Haughton began with mouse models including mice fed a high-fat diet to examine the utility of daily exercise for cancer treatment. Using laboratory reagents and purified antitumoral monoclonal antibodies the scientists induced acute renal disease in each mouse model and then evaluated the contribution of two division-specific subsets of immune cell signatures (macrophages and lymphocytes) to the combined effect of exercise plus chemotherapy: increased neutrophil extracellular signal (ELIS) and reduced macrophage engulfment signal (mock).

From these studies the team concluded that daily exercise can be used to rapidly mobilize a subset of immune cells that have been suppressed by chemotherapy in mouse models. It resulted in a striking response: Our data show that daily exercise combined with chemotherapy not only suppresses advanced tumor growth but can also rescue or increase the amount of children with cancer who do not benefit from chemotherapy said Haughton. This is a significant finding in itself because a large number of medicines used to treat the treatment of complex diseases including cancer is actually impotent. This is a vindication to these vital but often overlooked participants in well-designed clinical trials of these diseases.

This work expands knowledge to apply exercise therapeutics to multiple cancers and other diseases in which exercise has been reported to be helpful to survival.