Preventing the adverse cardiovascular consequences of allogeneic stem cell transplantation with a multi-faceted exercise intervention: the ALLO-Active trial protocol

Dillon, Hayley, Saner, Nicholas ORCID: 0000-0002-6011-7126, Ilsley, Tegan, Kliman, David, Spencer, Andrew, Avery, Sharon, Dunstan, David W, Daly, Robin M, Fraser, Steve F, Owen, Neville, Lynch, Brigid M, Kingwell, Bronwyn A, La Gerche, Andre and Howden, Erin J (2022) Preventing the adverse cardiovascular consequences of allogeneic stem cell transplantation with a multi-faceted exercise intervention: the ALLO-Active trial protocol. BMC Cancer, 22. ISSN 1471-2407


Background: Allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) is a potentially lifesaving treatment for high-risk hematological malignancy, but survivors experience markedly elevated rates of cardiovascular disease and associated functional impairment. Mounting evidence suggests regular exercise, combined with a reduction in sedentary time through replacement with light exercise may be a useful therapeutic strategy for the prevention of cardiovascular comorbidities. However, this type of intervention has yet to be evaluated in patients undergoing allo-SCT. The ALLO-Active study will evaluate the efficacy of a ~ 4 month multi-faceted exercise intervention, commenced upon admission for allo-SCT, to preserve peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) and peak cardiac output, compared with usual care. The study will also evaluate the effect of the intervention on functional independence, quality of life, and symptoms of fatigue. Methods: Sixty adults with hematological malignancy scheduled for allo-SCT will be randomly assigned to usual care (n = 30) or the exercise and sedentary behaviour intervention (n = 30). Participants assigned to the intervention will complete a thrice weekly aerobic and progressive resistance training program and concomitantly aim to reduce daily sedentary time by 30 min with short, frequent, light-intensity exercise bouts. Participants will undergo testing prior to, immediately after inpatient discharge, and 12 weeks after discharge. To address aim 1, VO2peak and peak cardiac output (multiple primary outcomes, p < 0.025) will be assessed via cardiopulmonary exercise testing and exercise cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, respectively. Secondary outcomes include functional independence (defined as VO2peak ≥−1.min−1), quality of life, and fatigue (assessed via validated questionnaire). Exploratory outcomes will include indices of resting cardiac, vascular, and skeletal muscle structure and function, cardiovascular biomarkers, anxiety and depression, transplant outcomes (e.g., engraftment, graft-versus-host disease), and habitual physical activity, sedentary time, and sleep. Discussion: Multi-faceted exercise programs are a promising approach for ameliorating the cardiovascular consequences of allo-SCT. If this intervention proves to be effective, it will contribute to the development of evidence-based exercise guidelines for patients undergoing allo-SCT and assist with optimising the balance between acute cancer management and long-term health. Trial Registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR), ID: 12619000741189. Registered 17 May 2019.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1186/s12885-022-09793-w
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4207 Sports science and exercise
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Keywords cardiovascular health, stem cell transplant, cancer, quality of life
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