Dr. Hershman on Exercise and AI-Associated Arthralgias
Dawn L. Hershman, MD, MS, Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Leader, Breast Cancer Program, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University, describes the HOPE study, which looked at the effect of exercise versus usual care on aromatase inhibitor-associated arthralgias (joint pain) in women with breast cancer.
A main reason women have low quality of life on hormonal therapy or discontinue their therapy is because of side effects, Hershman says. Numerous studies have shown that the most common side effect of treatment with an aromatase inhibitor is joint discomfort. There are no therapies that have been proven to relieve this discomfort.
As exercise has been shown to improve symptoms in areas outside of cancer, it was hypothesized that it could help in this area. The HOPE study tested this hypothesis and found a 30% reduction in joint symptoms in patients randomized to exercise intervention. This reduction persisted over the course of one year and a dose response was also observed.