Research Papers:

Pre- and post-diagnosis physical activity is associated with survival benefits of colorectal cancer patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Wenrui Wu, Feifei Guo, Jianzhong Ye, Yating Li, Ding Shi, Daiqiong Fang, Jing Guo and Lanjuan Li _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:52095-52103. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.10603

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Wenrui Wu1,2, Feifei Guo1,2, Jianzhong Ye1,2, Yating Li1,2, Ding Shi1,2, Daiqiong Fang1,2, Jing Guo1,2, Lanjuan Li1,2

1State Key Laboratory for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, The First Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China

2Collaborative Innovation Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, Hangzhou, China

Correspondence to:

Lanjuan Li, email: [email protected]

Keywords: physical activity, pre-diagnosis, post-diagnosis, colorectal cancer

Received: April 03, 2016     Accepted: June 29, 2016     Published: July 18, 2016


Objective: Physical activity is associated with reduced risk of colorectal cancer. However, whether physical activity could impart cancer patients’ survival benefits remains uncertain. The aim of this study is to systematically evaluate the relationship between physical activity and colorectal cancer mortality.

Results: Our meta-analysis included 11 studies involving 17,295 patients with a follow-up period ranging from 3.8 to 11.9 years. Results indicated that physical activity was inversely associated with overall (RR = 0.81, 95% CI = 0.72–0.91) and colorectal cancer-specific mortality (RR = 0.79, 95% CI = 0.71–0.89) before the diagnosis of cancer, respectively. For physical activity after diagnosis, the pooled RRs of colorectal cancer-specific and total mortality were 0.77 (95% CI, 0.63–0.94) and 0.71 (95% CI, 0.63–0.81), respectively. Similar inverse associations between exercise and prognosis were found among colorectal cancer survivors who had high-level exercise compared with those who had low-level exercise or were inactive. There was no obvious evidence for publication bias among studies.

Materials and Methods: We performed a systematic data search in PubMed, Cochrane Library databases and Web of Science for relevant articles before Jan 2016. We adopted adjusted estimates to calculate pooled relative risks (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) by the random-effects model. The publication bias was assessed by Begg’s test.

Conclusions: Our meta-analysis provides comprehensive evidence that physical activity, whether before or after the diagnosis of colorectal cancer, is related to reduced overall and cancer-specific mortality. Our findings may have significant public health implications and more prospective randomized clinical trials should be warranted to certify this protective association.

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