Exercise improves VO2max and body composition in androgen deprivation therapy-treated prostate cancer patients

Document Type

Journal Article


Lippincott Williams and Wilkins

Place of Publication

United States


School of Medical and Health Sciences / Exercise Medicine Research Institute




National Health and Medical Research Council

Grant Number

NHMRC Number : 534409


Ball, B.A., Galvão, D.A., Fatehee, N., Taaffe, D.R., Spry, N., Joseph, D., ... Newton, R.U. (2017). Exercise improves VO2max and body composition in androgen deprivation therapy-treated prostate cancer patients. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 49(8), 1503-1510. Available here.


Introduction Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, and patients treated with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) experience unfavorable changes in body composition and associated metabolic complications, which can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. We examined the effect of a 6-month program of aerobic and resistance exercise aimed at improving body composition and cardiorespiratory health in this population. Methods Ninety-seven men (43-90 yr) with localized prostate cancer receiving ADT were randomized to either exercise (EX, n = 50) or usual care (CON, n = 47). Supervised exercise was undertaken twice weekly at moderate to high intensity. Measures of cardiorespiratory capacity (VO 2max), resting metabolic rate, central blood pressure, hemodynamic variables, blood markers, and body composition were assessed. Results There was a significant group-time interaction present for VO 2max (P = 0.033) with a treatment effect for EX of 0.11 L·min -1 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.04-0.19) (relative to body mass = 1.3 mL·kg -1·min -1, 95% CI = 0.3-2.3) and fat oxidation (P = 0.037) of 12.0 mg·min -1 (95% CI = 2.3-21.7). Similarly, there was a significant improvement in glucose (P < 0.001) for EX of -0.5 mmol·L -1 (95% CI = -0.8 to -0.3), with no change in prostate-specific antigen or testosterone as a result of exercise. Body composition was enhanced for EX with adjusted mean differences in lean mass (P = 0.015) of 0.8 kg (95% CI = 0.3-1.3), total fat mass (P = 0.020) of -1.1 kg (95% CI = -1.8 to -0.5), and trunk fat mass (P < 0.001) of -1.0 kg (95% CI = -1.4 to -0.6). Conclusion A 6-month combined aerobic and resistance exercise program has a significant favorable effect on cardiorespiratory capacity, resting fat oxidation, glucose, and body composition despite the adverse effects of hormone suppression. Combined aerobic and resistance training should be considered a key adjuvant component in men undergoing ADT for the treatment of prostate cancer.



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