21 August 2019

COULD INTENSE EXERCISE BEAT ADVANCED PROSTATE CANCER?

Taking part in three hours of intensive exercise a week could prolong survival in men with advanced prostate cancer
Men's Health | Prostate Cancer
2 MIN READ
 
Taking part in three hours of intensive exercise a week could prolong survival in men with advanced prostate cancer, according to Movember-funded scientists. Over 20 research teams from eight countries are hoping to recruit 866 men to test whether exercise could be prescribed as a medicine alongside standard treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy or hormone therapy. 

The Movember Foundation’s INTERVAL GAP4 trial is the first randomised controlled trial in the world which aims to prove whether high-intensity aerobic exercise combined with resistance training could extend the lives of patients with metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).

Paul Villanti, the Movember Foundation’s executive director of programs, said: “This innovative trial could lead to a revolution in the way we tackle advanced prostate cancer and improve quality of life for men with advanced disease.  Most men with advanced prostate cancer will have had either surgery or radiation therapy - or both - and some may have had chemotherapy. The trial has been designed to determine whether exercise can be used as a medicine alongside conventional treatments.”

It is thought that prescribed exercise actually improves the effectiveness of the immune system – in particular natural killer cells which can seek out and destroy cancer cells.

Every man participating in the GAP4 study is given regular check-ups (alongside their normal treatment). Men on the supervised exercise arm are given a detailed training plan – designed to increase their strength, fitness and flexibility - specifically tailored to them and their disease which they will follow for two years. 

Patients on the active (supervised exercise) arm of the trial are required to do three sessions of exercise a week for the duration of the trial. The programme includes two 75-minute sessions of mixed resistance and aerobic exercise and one 30-minute session of aerobic exercise each week.