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Effects of different exercise interventions on chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment in patients with breast cancer: a study protocol for systematic review and network meta-analysis.

BMJ Open 2024 April 18
INTRODUCTION: Breast cancer stands as the most prevalent type of cancer affecting women globally, and chemotherapy plays a pivotal role in its treatment by diminishing tumour recurrence and enhancing the survival rates of patients. However, chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment (CRCI) often occurs in patients undergoing treatment. Although multiple clinical trials have indicated that exercise therapy can improve CRCI in patients with breast cancer, there are variations in the types of exercise interventions and their effectiveness. We aim to perform a pioneering network meta-analysis (NMA) to assess and prioritise the effectiveness of various exercise interventions in enhancing cognitive function in patients with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will search multiple databases, including PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane, Embase, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, VIP Database for Chinese Technical Periodicals, Wanfang and Sinomed databases, from their inception to May 2023. The main outcome is the cognitive function changes in patients with breast cancer, including subjective and objective results. We will specifically include randomised controlled trials reported in English and Chinese languages, whose primary outcome consists of an assessment of the cognitive function of patients with breast cancer using standardised and validated assessment tools, encompassing both subjective and objective outcomes. The quality of all the trials included will be evaluated based on 'Version 2 of the Cochrane tool for assessing the risk of bias in randomized controlled trials (RoB2)'. We will conduct a Bayesian NMA to thoroughly evaluate and compare the effectiveness of different exercise interventions. We will use cumulative ranking probability plots to estimate the ranking of the best interventions for various exercises. Network plots and funnel plots will be employed to display the study sizes and participants of each exercise intervention, as well as potential publication biases.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study findings will be shared via peer-reviewed journals to ensure the highest quality and credibility of the research. As the reporting will not include any private patient data, there are no ethical considerations associated with this protocol.

PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42023406597.

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