Daily Physical Activity Has Positive Impact on Immune Stimulation in MM

The effects of physical activity and exercise have previously been reported, with data pointing to improvements in quality of life as well as such clinical markers as immune response in tumors

Daily exercise and physical activity may increase immune stimulation and improve anti-inflammatory responses in patients with multiple myeloma (MM), suggest study findings.

The effects of physical activity and exercise have previously been reported, with data pointing to improvements in quality of life (QOL) as well as clinical markers, including immune response in tumors. In the current study, published in Frontiers in Physiology, the researchers followed the effect of participating in daily activities in 30 patients with MM who were older than 55 years, focusing on how physical activity influenced biochemical inflammatory parameters.

Notably, the 17 patients who participated in normal physical activity showed increased levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) compared with the 13 patients who were not physically active.

“Studies have linked IL-6 with increasing the pathogenesis of the MM condition by preventing the MM cells from undergoing apoptosis, suggesting that targeting IL-6 could be an effective strategy for reducing tumorigenesis,” wrote the researchers. “In contrast, other studies have shown that IL-6 activates, proliferates, and increases the survival rates of lymphocytes during the immune response, suggesting a dual face of IL-6 in regulating various signaling pathways in the tumor microenvironment. In this way, physical activities reshape the IL-6 pathways from negative to positive effects for improving MM conditions, possibly interfering with oxidative stress pathways.”

Differences between the 2 groups were analyzed after 17 days. The study did not put specific parameters around the physical activities that patients could participate in. The researchers also recognized the minimal sampling as a limitation of their study, as it could have obscured the complete impact of exercise and physical activity.

Participating in physical activity was associated with significant drops in lactate dehydrogenase, the accumulation of which can, in some instances, indicate the onset of MM and has an impact on overall survival.The group also found increased calcium and creatine levels in relation to patients who were not physically active, suggesting the behavior may increase QOL and immune stimulation. There were no significant differences in protein levels based on physical activity.

There were also no differences in levels of antibodies. However, participating in daily activities was associated with an increase in immunoglobulin M (IgM).

“Studies have shown that exercise increases immunoglobulin, which may be due to exercise- induced immune activation or immunoglobulin redistribution,” explained the group. “Similarly, this study shows that daily activities can induce immune activation by increasing IgM levels. However, other immunoglobulins were also increased, suggesting that better differentiation of all these immunoglobulins under physical exercise conditions is required, as they can be produced by both normal and MM cells.”


Wang J, Sheng L, Lai Y, Ouyang G, Xu Z. Effects of physical activity on clinical and inflammatory markers in diagnosing multiple myeloma patients. Front Physiol. Published online January 4, 2023. doi:10.3389/fphys.2022.1094470

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