Practical Radiation Oncology
School of Medical and Health Sciences / Exercise Medicine Research Institute
National Health and Medical Research Council Funding information : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prro.2021.01.005
NHMRC Number : 534409
Purpose: Physical inactivity, in addition to clinical factors, has been associated with higher levels of late pelvic symptoms in patients with prostate cancer (PCa) after radiation therapy. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a structured multicomponent exercise program comprised of aerobic and resistance training as well as impact loading on the prevalence and severity of symptoms commonly resulting from androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) and pelvic radiation therapy. Methods and Materials: We performed a secondary analysis of pooled data from 2 randomized controlled trials that investigated the role of exercise on treatment-related side effects in patients with PCa receiving ADT. Patients were included in the analysis if they had undergone radiation therapy during the intervention in addition to ADT. Patient-reported quality of life and functional and symptom scales were assessed using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer QLQ-C30 and PR25 before and after 6 months of exercise or usual care (UC). Results: One-hundred and fifteen patients with PCa receiving ADT, aged 47 to 84 years, who also underwent radiation therapy were included in the analysis (exercise, n = 72; UC, n = 43). There was a significant reduction in physical functioning (P = .019) and increased fatigue (P = .007) in the control group, with no change observed in the exercise group. Similarly, there was a trend toward reduced sexual activity in the control group (P = .064), with a mean adjusted change of -7.1 points. Furthermore, the prevalence of clinically important pain at 6 months was lower in the exercise group compared with UC (18.1 vs 37.2%, P = .022). No between-group differences were found for urinary (P = .473) or hormonal treatment-related symptoms (P = .552). Conclusions: Exercise during concomitant hormone and radiation treatment for men with PCa may mitigate some adverse changes in patient-reported fatigue, physical functioning, and possibly sexual activity. The promotion and provision of exercise to counter a range of treatment-related adverse effects in patients with PCa undergoing radiation therapy and ADT should be actively encouraged.
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