Bewegung & Krebs

Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation

Effects of a physical exercise program prior to, during and after allogeneic stem cell transplantation

In cooperation with the Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, the Department of Internal Medicine V (Heidelberg University Hospital), the Institute of Sports and Sports Science (Heidleberg University) and the German Clinic for Diagnostics ("Deutsche Klinik für Diagnostik, DKD"), Wiesbaden.

Principal investigator:
Prof. Dr. Martin Bohus

Co-Principal investigators:
Prof. Dr. Peter Dreger, PD Dr. Rainer Schwerdtfeger, PD Dr. Joachim Wiskemann


Before, during, and after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT), patients experience considerable physical and psychologic distress. Besides graft-versus-host disease and infections, reduced physical performance and high levels of fatigue affect patients' quality of life. This multicenter randomized controlled trial examined the effects of a partly self-administered exercise intervention before, during, and after allo-HSCT on these side effects. After randomization to an exercise and a social contact control group 105 patients trained in a home-based setting before hospital admission, during inpatient treatment and a 6- to 8-week period after discharge.

Fatigue, physical performance, quality of life, and physical/psychologic distress were measured by standardized instruments at baseline, admission to, and discharge from hospital and 6 to 8 weeks after discharge. The exercise group showed significantly improvement in fatigue scores (up to 15% improvement in exercise group vs up to 28% deterioration in control; P<.01-.03), physical fitness/functioning (P=.02-.03) and global distress (P=.03). All effects were at least detectable at one assessment time point after hospitalization or repeatedly. Physical fitness correlated significantly with all reported symptoms/variables. In conclusion, this partly supervised exercise intervention is beneficial for patients undergoing allo-HSCT.


Wiskemann J, Dreger P, Schwerdtfeger R, Bondong A, Huber G, Kleindienst N, Ulrich CM, Bohus M (2011). Effects of a partly self-administered exercise program before, during, and after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Blood, 117(9):2604-2613.


Wiskemann J, Huber G (2008). Psychophysische Konstitution von Patienten im Verlauf der hämatopoietischen Stammzelltransplantation: Ansatzpunkte für die Sport- und Bewegungstherapie. In M. Knoll & A. Woll (Hrsg.), Sport und Gesundheit in der Lebensspanne. Schriften der Deutschen Vereinigung für Sportwissenschaft 174: 355-361. Hamburg: Czwalina.

Wiskemann J, Bohus M (2009). Effekte eines Kraft- und Ausdauertrainings (KAT) auf die körperliche Leistungsfähigkeit und den Fatiguestatus bei Patienten im Kontext der allogenen hämatopoietischen Stammzelltransplantation. Deutsche Zeitschrift für Sportmedizin 60 (7-8): 196.

Wiskemann J, Dreger P, Schwerdtfeger R, Bondong A, Bohus M (2009). Physical Exercise as adjuvant therapy for patients before, during and after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Onkologie 32 (suppl 4): 151.


PD Dr. Joachim Wiskemann
Phone: +49 6221 56-5904