Exercise Preserves Physical Function in Prostate Cancer Patients with Bone Metastases

Document Type

Journal Article


Lippincott Williams and Wilkins


Exercise Medicine Research Institute




Originally published as:

Galvão, D. A., Taaffe, D. R., Spry, N., Cormie, P., Joseph, D., Chambers, S. K., ... & Denham, J. (2017). Exercise Preserves Physical Function in Prostate Cancer Patients with Bone Metastases. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 50(3), 393-399. doi:10.1249/MSS.0000000000001454

Original article available here.


The presence of bone metastases has excluded participation of cancer patients in exercise interventions and is a relative contraindication to supervised exercise in the community setting due to concerns of fragility fracture. We examined the efficacy and safety of a modular multi-modal exercise program in prostate cancer patients with bone metastases.Between 2012 and 2015, 57 prostate cancer patients (70.0±8.4 years; BMI 28.7±4.0 kg/m) with bone metastases (pelvis 75.4%, femur 40.4%, rib/thoracic spine 66.7%, lumbar spine 43.9%, humerus 24.6%, other sites 70.2%) were randomised to multi-modal supervised aerobic, resistance and flexibility exercises undertaken thrice weekly (EX, n=28) or usual care (CON, n=29) for 3 months. Physical function subscale of the SF-36 was the primary endpoint as an indicator of patient-rated physical functioning. Secondary endpoints included objective measures of physical function, lower body muscle strength, body composition and fatigue. Safety was assessed by recording the incidence and severity of any adverse events, skeletal complications, and bone pain throughout the intervention.There was a significant difference between groups for self-reported physical functioning (3.2 points, 95% CI 0.4-6.0 points; p=0.028) and lower body muscle strength (6.6 kg, 95% CI 0.6-12.7; p =0.033) at 3 months favouring EX. However, there was no difference between groups for lean mass (p=0.584), fat mass (p=0.598), or fatigue (p=0.964). There were no exercise-related adverse events or skeletal fractures and no differences in bone pain between EX and CON (p=0.507).Multi-modal modular exercise in prostate cancer patients with bone metastases led to self-reported improvements in physical function and objectively measured lower body muscle strength with no skeletal complications or increased bone pain.This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal.



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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.