Yoga for cancer survivors with chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy: Health-related quality of life outcomes

Author: W Iris Zhi1, Raymond E Baser2, Lillian M Zhi3, Dristi Talukder4, Qing S Li4, Tina Paul4, Clare Patterson4, Lauren Piulson4, Christina Seluzicki4, Mary L Galantino5,6,7, Ting Bao1,4
1 Breast Medicine Service, Solid Tumor Division, Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA.
2 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA.
3 Ward Melville High School, East Setauket, NY, USA.
4 Integrative Medicine Service, Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA.
5 School of Health Sciences, Stockton University, Galloway, NJ, USA.
6 Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
7 University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Conference/Journal: Cancer Med
Date published: 2021 Jul 2
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1002/cam4.4098. , Word Count: 246

Yoga is a meditative movement therapy focused on mind-body awareness. The impact of yoga on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) outcomes in patients with chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is unclear.

We conducted a pilot randomized wait-list controlled trial of 8 weeks of yoga (n = 21) versus wait-list control (n = 20) for CIPN in 41 breast and gynecological cancer survivors with persistent moderate to severe CIPN. HRQOL endpoints were Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Brief Fatigue Inventory (BFI), and Insomnia Severity Index (ISI). The Treatment Expectancy Scale (TES) was administered at baseline. We estimated mean changes and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) from baseline to weeks 8 and 12 and compared arms using constrained linear mixed models.

At week 8, HADS anxiety scores decreased -1.61 (-2.75, -0.46) in the yoga arm and -0.32 (-1.38, 0.75) points in the wait-list control arm (p = 0.099). At week 12, HADS anxiety scores decreased -1.42 (-2.57, -0.28) in yoga compared to an increase of 0.46 (-0.60, 1.53) in wait-list control (p = 0.017). There were no significant differences in HADS depression, BFI, or ISI scores between yoga and wait-list control. Baseline TES was significantly higher in yoga than in wait-list control (14.9 vs. 12.7, p = 0.019). TES was not associated with HADS anxiety reduction and HADS anxiety reduction was not associated with CIPN pain reduction.

Yoga may reduce anxiety in patients with CIPN. Future studies are needed to confirm these findings.

Clinical trial registration number: Identifier: NCT03292328.

Keywords: QOL; breast cancer; chemotherapy; clinical cancer research; gynecological oncology; quality of life.

PMID: 34213086 DOI: 10.1002/cam4.4098