Research finds prostate cancer patients helped by targeted exercise

Men being treated for prostate cancer through androgen deprivation therapy, or ADT, face a troubling problem: The loss of bone and muscle mass while gaining fat.  The side effects of this treatment put them at risk for heart disease, frailty, and broken bones. But a first-of-its-kind randomized clinical trial is providing evidence that targeted exercise can slow bone loss, reverse muscle weakness, and prevent gains in body fat in men undergoing ADT.

Kerri Winters-Stone, Ph.D., co-leader of the Knight Cancer Institute’s Cancer Prevention and Control Program, and her colleagues, have adapted an exercise regimen she originally developed for women at risk of osteoporosis and related conditions. The program combines resistance training with jumping exercises performed while wearing a weighted vest. Fifty-one older men receiving ADT were enrolled in either the adapted exercise program or a placebo program of stretching exercises.

What Winters-Stone and her team reported that the training group managed to shed body fat and achieve significant gains in upper body strength. Those in the control group gained fat mass and no strength. Based on these findings, the researchers are working to define the most effective exercise program. They urge providers not to wait to counsel patients on the benefits of strength training. There is enough evidence to show that providers, in consultation with physical therapists and exercise physiologists, can help men with prostate cancer move ahead with training programs to lessen the risk of bone and muscle loss and fat gain.

Read more about the findings here and here.


One response to “Research finds prostate cancer patients helped by targeted exercise

  1. This is such important research for this patient population, in terms of quality of life. Thanks for this Kerri and also, for all you have done to advance research in this important area.

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