Combined resistance and aerobic exercise program reverses muscle loss in men undergoing androgen suppression therapy for prostate cancer without bone metastases: a randomized controlled trial
American Society of Clinical Oncology
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
ECU Health and Wellness Institute / Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research
Purpose Androgen suppression therapy (AST) results in musculoskeletal toxicity that reduces physical function and quality of life. This study examined the impact of a combined resistance and aerobic exercise program as a countermeasure to these AST-related toxicities. Patients and Methods Between 2007 and 2008, 57 patients with prostate cancer undergoing AST (commenced > 2 months prior) were randomly assigned to a program of resistance and aerobic exercise (n = 29) or usual care (n = 28) for 12 weeks. Primary end points were whole body and regional lean mass. Secondary end points were muscle strength and function, cardiorespiratory capacity, blood biomarkers, and quality of life. Results Analysis of covariance was used to compare outcomes for groups at 12 weeks adjusted for baseline values and potential confounders. Patients undergoing exercise showed an increase in lean mass compared with usual care (total body, P =.047; upper limb, P <.001; lower limb, P =.019) and similarly better muscle strength (P <.01), 6-meter walk time (P =.024), and 6-meter backward walk time (P =.039). Exercise also improved several aspects of quality of life including general health (P =.022) and reduced fatigue (P =.021) and decreased levels of C-reactive protein (P =.008). There were no adverse events during the testing or exercise intervention program. Conclusion A relatively brief exposure to exercise significantly improved muscle mass, strength, physical function, and balance in hypogonadal men compared with normal care. The exercise regimen was well tolerated and could be recommended for patients undergoing AST as an effective countermeasure to these common treatment-related adverse effects.