Multilateral training improves physical fitness and fatigue perception in cancer patients




Physical fitness, Special population, Cancer-related fatigue, Adapted physical activity


Cancer patients bring with them physiological and psychological side effects and physical activity is emerging as a major tool to improve their quality of life and survival. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of 8-week multilateral training program on perceived fatigue, lower back flexibility, balance and task specific functional mobility in cancer patients. Twenty participants (52.6±17.1 years) were pair-matched based on age and then randomly assigned to an experimental group (n=10) that performed a progressive training of cardiorespiratory, resistance, flexibility and postural education exercises (~60min, 2d·wk-1), or a wait-list control group (n=10). Measures pre-intervention and post-intervention included psychological and physiological measurements. After intervention, significant improvements (p < 0.01) were detected in experimental group for the perceived fatigue, trunk lateral flexibility test (right and left sides), stork balance stand test (right and left sides) and 30 seconds chair stand test. Findings suggest that multilateral training program may improve the physical fitness and reduce perceived fatigue in cancer patients providing an important support to deal with physiological and psychological side effects. In addition, this multilateral approach may actually prevent physical inactivity, muscle wasting, and loss of energy in special populations.


Download data is not yet available.


American College of Sports Medicine. (2018). ACSM's guidelines for exercise testing and prescription (10th ed.). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer. pp. 102-110.

Blair, C. K., Morey, M. C., Desmond, R. A., Cohen, H. J., Sloane, R., Snyder, D. C., & Demark-Wahnefried, W. (2014). Light-intensity activity attenuates functional decline in older cancer survivors. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 46(7), 1375.

Burnham, T. R., & Wilcox, A. (2002). Effects of exercise on physiological and psychological variables in cancer survivors. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 34(12), 1863-1867.

Cheema, B. S. B., & Gaul, C. A. (2006). Full-body exercise training improves fitness and quality of life in survivors of breast cancer. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 20(1), 14.

Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. 2nd edition. Hillsdale, NJ: L. Lawrence Earlbaum Associates.

Courneya, K. S., & Friedenreich, C. M. (1997). Determinants of exercise during colorectal cancer treatment: an application of the theory of planned behavior. Oncology nursing forum, 24, (10), 1715-1723.

Courneya, K. S., Mackey, J. R., Bell, G. J., Jones, L. W., Field, C. J., & Fairey, A. S. (2003). Randomized controlled trial of exercise training in postmenopausal breast cancer survivors: cardiopulmonary and quality of life outcomes. Journal of clinical oncology, 21(9), 1660-1668.

Courneya, K. S., Segal, R. J., Mackey, J. R., Gelmon, K., Reid, R. D., Friedenreich, C. M., ... & Yasui, Y. (2007). Effects of aerobic and resistance exercise in breast cancer patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy: a multicenter randomized controlled trial. Journal of clinical oncology, 25(28), 4396-4404.

Cramp, F. A., & Byron-Daniel, J. Z. (2012). Exercise for the management of cancer related fatigue in adults. Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 11(131).

Dash, C., Randolph-Jackson, P. D., Isaacs, C., Mills, M., Makambi, K., Watkins, V. V., & Adams-Campbell, L. L. (2016). An exercise trial to reduce cancer related fatigue in African American breast cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy: Design, rationale, and methods. Contemporary clinical trials, 47, 153-157.

Dimeo, F. C. (2001). Effects of exercise on cancer‐related fatigue. Cancer: Interdisciplinary International Journal of the American Cancer Society, 92(S6), 1689-1693.<1689::aid-cncr1498>;2-h

Dimeo, F., Rumberger, B. G., & Keul, J. (1998). Aerobic exercise as therapy for cancer fatigue. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 30(4), 475-478.

Dimeo, F., Schwartz, S., Wesel, N., Voigt, A., & Thiel, E. (2008). Effects of an endurance and resistance exercise program on persistent cancer-related fatigue after treatment. Annals of oncology, 19(8), 1495-1499.

Durak, E. P., & Lilly, P. C. (1998). The application of an exercise and wellness program for cancer patients: a preliminary outcomes report. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 12(1), 3-6.

Ehrman, J., Gordon, P., Visich, P., & Keteyian, S. (2019). Clinical Exercise Physiology (4th ed). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. p. 382.

Fischetti, F., Cataldi, S., Di Terlizzi, P.G., & Greco, G. (2019). Multilateral methodology in physical education improves coping skills, resilience and physical fitness in drug addicts. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise.

Fischetti, F., Cataldi, S., & Greco, G. (2019). A Combined Plyometric and Resistance Training Program Improves Fitness Performance in 12 to 14-years-old Boys. Sport Sciences for Health.

Fischetti, F., & Greco, G. (2017). Multilateral methods in Physical Education improve physical capacity and motor skills performance of the youth. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 17(Suppl 4), 2161-2168.

Fischetti, F., Latino, F., Cataldi, S., & Greco, G. (2019). Gender Differences in Body Image Dissatisfaction: The Role of Physical Education and Sport. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise.

Friedenreich, C. M., & Orenstein, M. R. (2002). Physical activity and cancer prevention: etiologic evidence and biological mechanisms. The Journal of nutrition, 132(11), 3456S-3464S.

Frost, M., Stuckey, S., Smalley, L. A., & Dorman, G. (1982). Reliability of measuring trunk motions in centimeters. Physical therapy, 62(10), 1431-1437.

Graydon, J. E. (1994). Women with breast cancer: their quality of life following a course of radiation therapy. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 19(4), 617-622.

Greco, G., Cataldi, S., & Fischetti, F. (2019). Effectiveness of a Short After-School Intervention on Physical Fitness in School-Aged Children. Journal of Theories and Research in Education.14(1), 143-164.

Greco, G., Settimo, M., & Fischetti, F. (2018). Relationship between the correct running technique and lower back well-being perceived by the practitioner. Journal of Physical Education and Sport,18(3), 1796-1800.

Herrero, F., San Juan, A. F., Fleck, S. J., Balmer, J., Perez, M., Canete, S., ... Lucia, A. (2006). Combined aerobic and resistance training in breast cancer survivors: A randomized, controlled pilot trial. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 27(7), 573-580.

Hojan, K., Kwiatkowska-Borowczyk, E., Leporowska, E., Gorecki, M., Ozga-Majchrzak, O., Milecki, T., & Milecki, P. (2016). Physical exercise for functional capacity, blood immune function, fatigue, and quality of life in high-risk prostate cancer patients during radiotherapy: a prospective, randomized clinical study. European journal of physical and rehabilitation medicine, 52(4), 489-501.

Jacobs, P. (Ed.). (2017). NSCA's Essentials of Training Special Populations. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Knols, R., Aaronson, N. K., Uebelhart, D., Fransen, J., & Aufdemkampe, G. (2005). Physical exercise in cancer patients during and after medical treatment: a systematic review of randomized and controlled clinical trials. Journal of clinical oncology, 23(16), 3830-3842.

Kolden, G. G., Strauman, T. J., Ward, A., Kuta, J., Woods, T. E., Schneider, K. L., ... & Kalin, N. H. (2002). A pilot study of group exercise training (GET) for women with primary breast cancer: feasibility and health benefits. Psycho‐Oncology: Journal of the Psychological, Social and Behavioral Dimensions of Cancer, 11(5), 447-456.

Lucía, A., Earnest, C., & Pérez, M. (2003). Cancer–related fatigue: can exercise physiology assist oncologists? The lancet oncology, 4(10), 616-625.

Macfarlane, D. J., Chou, K. L., Cheng, Y. H., & Chi, I. (2006). Validity and normative data for thirty‐second chair stand test in elderly community‐dwelling Hong Kong Chinese. American Journal of Human Biology: The Official Journal of the Human Biology Association, 18(3), 418-421.

McCurdy, K., & Langford, G. (2006). The relationship between maximum unilateral squat strength and balance in young adult men and women. Journal of sports science & medicine, 5(2), 282.

McKenzie, D. C., & Kalda, A. L. (2003). Effect of upper extremity exercise on secondary lymphedema in breast cancer patients: a pilot study. Journal of clinical oncology, 21(3), 463-466.

Miller, K. D., Siegel, R. L., Lin, C. C., Mariotto, A. B., Kramer, J. L., Rowland, J. H., ... & Jemal, A. (2016). Cancer treatment and survivorship statistics, 2016. CA: a cancer journal for clinicians, 66(4), 271-289.

Moore, S. C., Lee, I. M., Weiderpass, E., Campbell, P. T., Sampson, J. N., Kitahara, C. M., ... & Adami, H. O. (2016). Association of leisure-time physical activity with risk of 26 types of cancer in 1.44 million adults. JAMA internal medicine, 176(6), 816-825.

Oldervoll, L. M., Kaasa, S., Knobel, H., & Loge, J. H. (2003). Exercise reduces fatigue in chronic fatigued Hodgkins disease survivors—results from a pilot study. European Journal of Cancer, 39(1), 57-63.

Portenoy, R. K., & Itri, L. M. (1999). Cancer-related fatigue: guidelines for evaluation and management. The oncologist, 4(1), 1-10.

Schmitz, K. H., Courneya, K. S., Matthews, C., Demark-Wahnefried, W., Galvão, D. A., Pinto, B. M., ... & Schneider, C. M. (2010). American College of Sports Medicine roundtable on exercise guidelines for cancer survivors. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 42(7), 1409-1426.

Segal, R. J., Reid, R. D., Courneya, K. S., Malone, S. C., Parliament, M. B., Scott, C. G., ... & Wells, G. A. (2003). Resistance exercise in men receiving androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 21(9), 1653-1659.

Thompson, W. G. (1994). Exercise and health: fact or hype? Southern medical journal, 87(5), 567-574.

Travier, N., Velthuis, M. J., Bisschop, C. N. S., van den Buijs, B., Monninkhof, E. M., Backx, F., ... & de Roos, M. A. (2015). Effects of an 18-week exercise programme started early during breast cancer treatment: a randomised controlled trial. BMC medicine, 13(1), 121.

Van Vulpen, J., Velthuis, M. J., Steins, C. B., Travier, N., Van, B. D. B., Backx, F. J., ... & De, M. R. (2016). Effects of an Exercise Program in Colon Cancer Patients undergoing Chemotherapy. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 48(5), 767-775.

Vincent, W., & Weir, J. P. (2012). Statistics in Kinesiology (4th Ed). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Willer, A. (2003). Reduction of the individual cancer risk by physical exercise. Oncology Research and Treatment, 26(3), 283-289.

Wong, K.Y.A., & Cheung, S.Y. (2005). Physical activity level and functional fitness of older women in Hong Kong. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 76, 119 – 120.


Statistics RUA



How to Cite

Cataldi, S., Latino, F., Greco, G., & Fischetti, F. (2019). Multilateral training improves physical fitness and fatigue perception in cancer patients. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 14(4proc), S916-S926.

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>