Dissecting the molecular pathways involved in the effects of physical activity on breast cancers cells: A narrative review

Francesca Maria Orlandella, Anna Elisa De Stefano, Paola Lucia Chiara Iervolino, Pasqualina Buono, Andrea Soricelli, Giuliana Salvatore

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Epidemiologic evidence suggests that obesity and sedentary are modifiable factors strongly associated with breast cancer risk worldwide. Since breast cancer represents the most frequent malignant neoplasm and the second cause of cancer-related deaths in women worldwide, an insight into the molecular mechanisms clarifying the effects of physical activity in breast cancer cells could have important implication for changing this cancer burden. In this narrative Review article, we summarize the current knowledge, regarding the effects of adapted physical activity program, focusing on the cellular signaling pathways activated and on the molecular markers involved in breast cancer. Regular exercise training in breast cancer patients has been shown to positively affect tumor-growth and survival rate. Indeed, emerging work demonstrates that regular exercise is able to affect multiple cancer hallmarks influencing the development and progression of cancer. In conclusion, changes in the circulating insulin, adipokines and estrogen levels, inflammation and oxidative stress could represent some of the possible biological mechanisms through which exercise may influence breast cancer development and recurrence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number118790
JournalLife Sciences
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Nov 18 2020


  • Adapted physical activity
  • Breast cancer
  • Molecular markers
  • Narrative review
  • Signaling pathways

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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