The role of exercise in aromatase inhibitor-induced arthralgia

Author: Kerstin Yu1, Pauline Portes1, G Stephen Morris2, Laura Huang3,4, Elizabeth R Felix3, Gary J Farkas3, Diana Molinares3, Eduard Tiozzo3
1 University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA.
2 Department of Physical Therapy, Wingate University, Wingate, North Carolina, USA.
3 Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA.
4 Mount Vernon Rehabilitation Medicine Associates, Alexandria, Virginia, USA.
Conference/Journal: PM R
Date published: 2024 May 23
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1002/pmrj.13193. , Word Count: 249

Aromatase inhibitors are prescribed in breast cancer due to their associated lower rate of cancer recurrence compared to tamoxifen. However, aromatase inhibitor-induced arthralgia (AIIA) is one of the leading causes of treatment nonadherence, increasing the risk of cancer recurrence. The pathophysiology of AIIA is poorly understood, and although current recommendations for AIIA include lifestyle changes and analgesics depending on the severity of symptoms, there is no established effective treatment. The aim of this study is to explore the presentation and mechanism of AIIA and investigate the feasibility and efficacy of different exercise interventions (aerobic, resistance, aerobic and resistance combined, and yoga or tai chi) in patients with AIIA to guide the development of formal exercise prescription guidelines. Findings indicate that a mixed-modality regimen of aerobic and resistance exercises is feasible and safe and may serve the most benefit in improving joint pain, functionality, and quality of life. More specifically, the weekly regimen should consist of 150 min of aerobic exercise with two sessions of at least six resistance exercises, 8 to 12 repetitions, three sets each. Supplementary yoga and tai chi may be recommended twice a week depending on a patient's target symptoms. Yoga was associated with improved physical functionality, whereas tai chi was related to improvements in mental health. However, the feasibility and impact of combined aerobic and resistance exercise protocols with yoga or tai chi in our target population were not investigated in this review. The use of large, randomized controlled trials is recommended for future studies.

PMID: 38780410 DOI: 10.1002/pmrj.13193