Clinical study for prostate cancer survivors funded by National Cancer Institute

Stack of weights

Lowering levels of male hormones called androgens makes prostate cancers shrink or grow more slowly. Androgen deprivation therapy, or ADT, is a mainstay of treatment, but it is also associated with osteoporosis, muscle wasting and a significantly increased risk of frailty, falls and devastating bone fractures.

Kerri Winters-Stone, Ph.D.
Winters-Stone and co-authors previously reported falls were more than twice as common among current and past users of ADT than among never users. 

Kerri Winters-Stone, Ph.D., is principal investigator on a clinical trial getting underway that will compare two types of exercise — tai chi and strength training — as a means to prevent falls and injuries in men who’ve received ADT for prostate cancer. Winters-Stone is the Elnora E. Thompson Distinguished Professor in the OHSU School of Nursing and co-leader of the Knight Cancer Institute’s Cancer Prevention and Control Program.

The exercise clinical trial, called GET FIT Prostate, will be the first head-to-head comparison of the two exercise modalities and their ability to protect prostate cancer survivors from falls, frailty and functional limitations.

A grant from the National Cancer Institute will provide up to $2.5 million over five years to pay for the direct costs of the randomized, controlled trial.

Read more about the research project.

See Q&A with Winters-Stone about the project funded by this grant.

For Winters-Stone, the best possible outcome would be that both experimental interventions decrease the risk of falls — giving men twice as many options to avoid falls and their injuries.

Co-investigators are Nathan Dieckmann, Ph.D., School of Nursing, and Tom Beer, M.D, Christopher Amling, M.D., Arthur Y. Hung, M.D., and Fay Horak Ph.D., P.T., in the OHSU School of Medicine.