24 Aug Prostate Cancer: Effects of HIIT Program on Localized Disease
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Kerry S. Courneya, PhD
Professor and Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Cancer
Director, Behavioral Medicine Laboratory and Fitness Center
Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation | College of Health Sciences
University of Alberta | Edmonton, Alberta | CANADA
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: An increasing number of men with low risk prostate cancer (PCa) do not receive any immediate medical treatments for their PCa. This practice is called active surveillance (AS). It can be very stressful for men because about one-third of them will eventually experience disease progression and require medical treatments. Right now, there is nothing these men can really do for themselves other than to attend all of their follow-up medical visits. Some research has shown that exercise may slow the progression of prostate tumours and metastasis in animal models and improve quality of life in men during and after PCa treatments. Very little research, however, has been conducted in the AS setting. We wanted to see if a high intensity interval training exercise program could improve fitness and prevent or delay biochemical progression of PCa in the AS setting.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: We recruited 52 men with prostate cancer on active surveillance and randomized half of them to the exercise program and the other half to their usual activity. The men assigned to the exercise program had excellent adherence. We found that a 12 week, thrice weekly, high intensity interval training program–compared to usual activity levels–significantly improved cardiorespiratory fitness, reduced prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, slowed PSA velocity, and inhibited in vitro PCa cell growth.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Many men are keen to engage in nonmedical interventions to avoid prostate cancer progression and treatments, and the cost savings could be substantial. Lifestyle interventions, such as exercise, are feasible for many men with PCa on active surveillance and may improve clinical outcomes and quality of life, but more research is needed.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: We feel that our study provides the basis for larger scale phase II and III trials examining the effects of exercise on clinical outcomes in the AS setting. These trials will be challenging because they will need to be multicenter, require very large sample sizes (at least several hundred), need to achieve high adherence to a much longer exercise intervention (at least 1-3 years), require long term follow-up (5-10 years), and will be very expensive. Nevertheless, these types of trials will provide a definitive answer on the role of exercise in improving outcomes in the active surveillance setting.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: Dong-Woo Kang was a PhD student in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada when he conducted this study. He is now a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Medical Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts . No disclosures.
Kang D, Fairey AS, Boulé NG, Field CJ, Wharton SA, Courneya KS. Effects of Exercise on Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Biochemical Progression in Men With Localized Prostate Cancer Under Active Surveillance: The ERASE Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Oncol. Published online August 19, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2021.3067
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