Exercise-induced myokines and their effect on prostate cancer

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Nature Reviews Urology


Springer Nature


School of Medical and Health Sciences / Exercise Medicine Research Institute




Kim, J. S., Galvão, D. A., Newton, R. U., Grey, E., & Taaffe, D. R. (2021). Exercise-induced myokines and their effect on prostate cancer. Nature Reviews Urology, 18, 519-542. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41585-021-00476-y


Exercise is recognized by clinicians in the field of clinical oncology for its potential role in reducing the risk of certain cancers and in reducing the risk of disease recurrence and progression; yet, the underlying mechanisms behind this reduction in risk are not fully understood. Studies applying post-exercise blood serum directly to various types of cancer cell lines provide insight that exercise might have a role in inhibiting cancer growth via altered soluble and cell-free blood contents. Myokines, which are cytokines produced by muscle and secreted into the bloodstream, might offer multiple benefits to cellular metabolism (such as a reduction in insulin resistance, improved glucose uptake and reduced adiposity), and blood myokine levels can be altered with exercise. Alterations in the levels of myokines such as IL-6, IL-15, IL-10, irisin, secreted protein acidic risk in cysteine (SPARC), myostatin, oncostatin M and decorin might exert a direct inhibitory effect on cancer growth via inhibiting proliferation, promoting apoptosis, inducing cell-cycle arrest and inhibiting the epithermal transition to mesenchymal cells. The association of insulin resistance, hyperinsulinaemia and hyperlipidaemia with obesity can create a tumour-favourable environment; exercise-induced myokines can manipulate this environment by regulating adipose tissue and adipocytes. Exercise-induced myokines also have a critical role in increasing cytotoxicity and the infiltration of immune cells into the tumour.



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