Scientists in Copenhagen have published new evidence that suggests exercise can help to prevent cancers and help fight the disease.
They identified a number of influences that helps exercise have such beneficial effects. They say that the release of adrenaline during exercise stimulates immune cells, specifically natural killer cells (NK) that then circulate around the body seeking out cancer cells. The NK cells are drawn to a tumour site by the protein IL-6, which is released by working muscles.
The NK cells can destroy a tumour or slow its growth and researchers say this opens up the possibility of new treatments harnessing the potential of these immune cells.
The Danish research was carried out after training mice and giving them regular exercise on a wheel. The scientists also found that those mice with lung tumours showed no evidence of cancer-associated weight loss when they were given regular exercise.