A new study conducted by The University of Queensland in conjunction with the University of Waterloo, Ontario, has found that after a short session of high intensity interval training (HIIT), growth of colon cancer cells was reduced, and this also increased indicators of inflammation.
The fact that exercise may play a role in reducing the growth of colon cancer cells has been published in The Journal of Physiology.
For a long time, the focus on exercise has been on the positive changes in the body that occur following a longer period of training. However, these findings suggest that the effects following a single session of HIIT, an exercise regime involving short, high energy bursts are also important.
According to the study, the changes following HIIT suggest that repeated exposure to the acute effects of exercise may contribute to the fight against the cancer. These results reinforce the importance of doing regular exercise and maintaining a physically active lifestyle.
The study involved colorectal cancer survivors completing either a single session of HIIT or 12 sessions over 4 weeks. Their blood samples were collected and were then analysed to study the growth of colon cancer cells.
Speaking about the study, James Devin, lead author said, "We have shown that exercise may play a role in inhibiting the growth of colon cancer cells. After an acute bout of HIIT there were specific increases in inflammation immediately after exercise, which are hypothesised to be involved in reducing the number of cancer cells."
According to researchers, this suggests that a physically active lifestyle may be important in tackling human colorectal tumours. They would now like to look at how these changes in growth occur and understand the mechanisms by which biomarkers in the blood can impact cell growth.