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Skeletal muscle tissue is a rare site of tumor metastasis but is the main target of the degenerative processes occurring in cancer-associated cachexia syndrome. Beneficial effects of physical activity in counteracting cancer-related muscle wasting have been described in the last decades. Recently it has been shown that, in tumor xeno-transplanted mouse models, physical activity is able to directly affect tumor growth by modulating inflammatory responses in the tumor mass microenvironment. Here, we investigated the effect of physical activity on tumor cell growth in colon carcinoma C26 cells injected tibialis anterior muscles of BALB/c mice. Histological analyses revealed that 4 days of voluntary wheel running significantly counteracts tumor cell growth in C26-injected muscles compared to the non-injected sedentary controls. Since striated skeletal muscle tissue is the site of voluntary contraction, our results confirm that physical activity can also directly counteract tumor cell growth in a metabolically active tissue that is usually not a target for metastasis.
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