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., 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.
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.