Recovery twice as hard for survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Nearly 90 per cent of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) survive, yet the same treatments that save their life can adversely affect their quality of life and cardiorespiratory fitness health.  In fact, the cardiorespiratory fitness of ALL survivors can be significantly worse than a sample of healthy Canadians, despite similar levels of physical activity.

Maxime Caru, an Université de Montréal doctoral student in kinesiology, demonstrates that a group of genes known as “trainability genes” are linked to cardiorespiratory fitness.

Intense physical exercise may help cancer survivors reducing their fatigue levels. Image credit: Viktor Kern via Unsplash.com (Unsplash licence)

Caru’s study also demonstrates that a group of genes known as “trainability genes” are linked to cardiorespiratory fitness. He will present the findings of this research today at the American College of Sports Medicine’s Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida.

“Previous work by UdeM’s Laboratory of physiopathology of the exercise, where I carried out my research, had suggested that ALL survivors weren’t following recommendations for physical activity,” said Caru, who is also a researcher at the CHU Sainte-Justine Research Centre.

“But until now no Canadian study had compared the cardiorespiratory fitness of ALL survivors against the healthy population.”