5
Dec

The bone-muscle connection in breast cancer: a review

Article: The bone-muscle connection in breast cancer: implications and therapeutic strategies to preserve musculoskeletal health

Breast cancer treatments often lead to musculoskeletal morbidity; muscle loss in general is seen as a complication of breast cancer, affecting survival and quality of life. Emerging new research into the biochemical and molecular links between the skeletal and muscular systems is beginning to be taken into account, alongside the well-known anatomical relationship, to improve our understanding of these effects. This paper discussed treatments such as anti-oestrogen therapy, which deteriorates bone health and muscle mass, and the significance of these effects in lower survival rates and worse outcomes for patients. In this sense, exercise is concluded to be of aid for patients with breast cancer in improving their outcomes.

This review by Ballinger T et al. aimed to understand the relevance of musculoskeletal health to breast cancer, and the strategies that could aid patients in this disease.

Key learnings Although research has been done into exercise benefiting the musculoskeletal health of breast cancer patients which improves their outcomes, more studies are needed to understand the optimal therapeutic combinations to reduce the burden of musculoskeletal effects. Understanding the impact of mechanical signals on the tumour microenvironment may contribute to this knowledge in the future, allowing clinicians to understand a management strategy involving both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions.

Reviewed by: Z. Beketova

Authors: Ballinger T, Thompson W & Guise T

Published in: Breast Cancer Res 2022

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