Could high intensity exercise assist in the fight against prostate cancer?

Could high intensity exercise assist in the fight against prostate cancer?

It is no secret that, for the average person in day-to-day life, regular exercise can have positive effects on both physical and mental wellbeing, but is there a chance that exercise could be a force to be reckoned with in the fight against prostate cancer? New research is set to find out.

Researchers from the University of Surrey and Royal Surrey County Hospital are undertaking exciting new research to help improve survival rates of men with metastatic prostate cancer.

Funded by the Movember Foundation, and working alongside global partners, researchers in Surrey will investigate the impact of high intensity aerobic and resistance training combined with psychosocial support on men with prostate cancer. During this worldwide study, the team will provide an exercise programme for 866 men with prostate cancer over a 3-year period at sites across Australia, North America and Europe.

Dr Ralph Manders said: “The benefits of exercise to both our physical and mental well-being is undeniable. What we are hoping to uncover is whether the same benefits are experienced when a person is living with cancer, and whether it extends their survival from cancer. If it does, this could be revolutionary in the future of treating and supporting people with prostate cancer.”

Psychosocial support is already recognised as an important part of cancer patients’ treatment. Cancer affects the sufferer and their family members and loved ones socially and emotionally; this is known as the psychosocial effect of having cancer.

During the new study, participants will be split into two groups and both will receive psychosocial support. One group, (the intervention arm) will embark on an exercise training programme with supplementary behavioural and psychosocial support; the second group (the control arm) will receive psychosocial support only, but can follow their usual exercise and lifestyle routine.

Those in the intervention arm of the programme will complete exercise training three times a week, which will be initially supervised prior to becoming more self-managed, while receiving text messages to provide behavioural support and tailored newsletters to provide psychosocial support. Participants in the control arm will receive psychosocial support via the newsletters. All participants will remain on the study for 24 cycles, each lasting 28 days.

Throughout the study, researchers will be measuring survival time, disease progression, symptomatic skeletal-related events, pain medications, symptoms and metabolic and inflammatory markers to assess the impact of exercise on men with prostate cancer.

Sam Gledhill, from the Movember Foundation said: “Conventional treatments and therapies remain the primary means of attack against prostate cancer. However, incremental improvements that can be achieved by other means all amount to valuable extra time and quality of life for men diagnosed with the disease. The Movember Foundation is grateful to our remarkable community of fundraisers for supporting this important study that is contributing to the evidence and understanding around how exercise can be a vital factor in extending and improving men’s lives.”