Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology




School of Medical and Health Sciences / Exercise Medicine Research Institute




Open Access funding enabled and organized by CAUL and its Member Institutions. This work was supported by funding through the Edith Cowan University Early Career grant fund (Grant Number: G1002267).


Singh, F., Newton, R. U., Taaffe, D. R., Lopez, P., Thavaseelan, J., Brown, M., ... & Galvão, D. A. (2023). Prehabilitative versus rehabilitative exercise in prostate cancer patients undergoing prostatectomy. Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology, 149, 16563-16573.


Purpose: The study compared the efficacy of commencing supervised exercise in men with prostate cancer before and after prostatectomy on objective and patient-reported outcomes, hospital length of stay, and urinary incontinence. Methods: Forty-one men were randomised to a 6-week prehabilitation or rehabilitation exercise programme. Prehabilitation involved resistance and aerobic exercise thrice weekly pre-surgery, while rehabilitation comprised the same commencing 6-weeks post-surgery. Assessments included strength, function (chair rise, stair climb, 400-m, 6-m usual, fast, and backwards walk), body composition, fatigue and quality of life, undertaken at pre-surgery, early post-surgery and late post-surgery phase, with urinary incontinence (24-h pad test) assessed at 2, 6, and 12-weeks post-surgery. Intention-to-treat and sensitivity analyses were undertaken. Results: Of thirty-eight men (48–73 years), 29 completed all assessments with most undergoing robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (92.1%). In the pre-surgery phase, prehabilitation improved muscle strength (leg press: 17.2 kg; chest press: 2.9 kg; p ≤ 0.001), 400-m, chair rise, 6-m fast and backward walk tests (p ≤ 0.001–0.028). Strength and function declines in the early post-surgery phase were maintained late post-surgery. Rehabilitation showed declines of these outcomes after surgery with improvement late post-surgery (leg press: 14.6 kg, p < 0.001; chest press: 6.8 kg, p < 0.001; 400-m walk: -12.0 s, p = 0.005), resulting in no difference between groups at 12 weeks. There were no significant differences between groups for patient-reported outcomes, hospital length of stay or urinary incontinence. Conclusion: Pre-surgical exercise enhanced strength and function, protecting against post-surgery declines. Although exercise post-surgery is beneficial for recouping strength and function, where possible men undergoing prostatectomy are encouraged to exercise pre-surgery. Trial registration: ACTRN12617001115325 registered 31 July 2017.



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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.