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Rebuilding bone with exercise in multiple myeloma

Project Member(s): Hart, N., Skinner, C.

Funding or Partner Organisation: World Cancer Research Fund International (World Cancer Research Fund International - Seed Grants)
World Cancer Research Fund International (World Cancer Research Fund International - Seed Grants)

Start year: 2023

Summary: Multiple myeloma is an incurable cancer of bone marrow. While new therapies can extend life expectancy, people with multiple myeloma are left with the most physical limitations, and among the highest distress and lowest quality of life of any cancer population. One of the defining features of multiple myeloma is bone health degeneration. We have shown that bone health can be improved through a specific type and intensity of physical exercise. These exercises have been shown to be safe and feasible for people with poor bone health, advanced cancer, and bone metastases. However, no research has examined what the effect of exercise is on the bone health of people with multiple myeloma. How exercise improves bone health is not well understood because it is difficult to study bone cells in humans. Animal studies have shown that applying loading forces to bone, like the loads applied to human bones during targeted exercise, increase bone mass in healthy mice. In mice with myeloma, these loading forces can prevent the progression of multiple myeloma induced bone lesions and supress the progression of tumours. This study’s objectives are to determine the effect of highly targeted exercise on the bone health and quality of life of people with multiple myeloma. We hypothesise that bone targeted exercise will not only maintain bone health but will delay the progression of bone tumours by altering the behaviour of bone cells. Further, it will increase muscle strength and physical function, and reduce pain, improving quality of life in people with multiple myeloma.

FOR Codes: Allied health and rehabilitation science, Oncology and carcinogenesis, Clinical health, Provision of health and support services