Physical exercise reduces the risk of infection in children with bone marrow transplants


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A program of physical exercise Moderate intensity supervised may be well tolerated by children during all phases of bone marrow transplant and even tends to reduce the risk of infection after an allogeneic transplant, according to a Spanish study published in the journal « Cancers».

Bone marrow transplants in children are associated with serious adverse reactions, such as infections, which can be a major cause of mortality. Given this situation, from the health field it is essential to develop therapies and treatments that contribute to reduce complications. In order to advance in this way, a group of researchers formed by Javier S. Morales and Alejandro Lucía, from the European University, and professionals from other institutions and organizations such as the Niño Jesús University Children’s Hospital, the University of Alcalá de Henares, FISSAC, the Miguel de Cervantes European University and the Health Research Institute of the Hospital 12 de Octubre, launched a study to analyze the effects of a supervised physical exercise program in children with cancer during their hospitalization after receiving a bone marrow transplant.

It is not the first time that these researchers evaluate the impact of physical exercise in cancer patients, specifically in the very young. Studies carried out by them previously showed that physical exercise helps strengthen the immune system of children with cancer even in the most aggressive phases of your treatment.

A total of 118 children and adolescents between the ages of 4 and 17 from the Niño Jesús University Children’s Hospital in Madrid underwent this adapted exercise program. Over three weeks, the minors completed between 10 and 23 sessions lasting around an hour with aerobic exercises (25 minutes) and resistance (15 minutes), as well as a warm-up phase and cool down. All this within your own room and after complete disinfection of all materials (exercise bike, elastic bands, etc.).

After the exercise program, the researchers observed that the risk of infection was greatly reduced among those participants who had carried out the exercise routine and their transplantation was allogeneic. However, further research is needed to see if other types of training (for example, higher intensity), may be beneficial in the prognosis of these patients.

For Alejandro Lucía, professor of Exercise Physiology at the European University, this type of research «provides more evidence to the concept that ‘Exercise is Medicine‘and that exercise interventions are undervalued in the medicine of our century, especially in the hospital setting, despite their potential as an adjunctive treatment to conventional medical treatments ”.

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