Effects of diet and exercise-induced weight loss on biomarkers of inflammation in breast cancer survivors: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Tyler J. Bruinsma, Anne Marie Dyer, Connie J. Rogers, Kathryn H. Schmitz, Kathleen M. Sturgeon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Adiponectin, leptin, and pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines are implicated in breast cancer risk and recurrence. Weight loss, via the dynamic interplay of energy balance through exercise and/or caloric restriction, decreases risk of breast cancer recurrence. Methods: We investigated the effects of lifestyle modifications (exercise only, or combined caloric restriction and exercise) on adipokines, IL2, IL6, IL8, IL10, C-reactive protein (CRP), and TNFa biomarkers in breast cancer survivors. Searches were completed in June and July of 2019 to identify randomized controlled trials that met inclusion criteria. Weighted mean difference was calculated using random- or fixed-effects models based on the heterogeneity of the studies. Results: 2501 records were identified, with 30 ultimately meeting inclusion criteria of the systematic review; 21 studies provided data suitable for meta-analysis. We observed leptin levels were significantly reduced in the exercise-only group compared with sedentary control [WMD -5.66; 95% confidence interval (CI), -11.0 to -0.33; P ¼ 0.04]. Conclusions: Leptin may be a primary mediator of exercise-induced improvements in breast cancer recurrence. Impact: This is the first review and meta-analysis to examine combined exercise and caloric restriction programs in breast cancer survivors. Future studies should further examine combined programs and their efficacy for altering leptin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1048-1062
Number of pages15
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology

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