The role of exercise in the management of adverse effects of androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer: A rapid review
Supportive Care in Cancer
Exercise Medicine Research Institute
Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia, accounting for one quarter of all new cancer diagnoses for males. Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is the standard first-line therapy for metastatic PCa but is also used across much of the spectrum of disease. Unfortunately, debilitating adverse effects are a significant and largely unavoidable feature of ADT. A recent systematic review of adverse effects of ADT identified 19 sub-groups classified according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) Version 5.0. The potential for multiple simultaneous adverse effects, their associated management and the impact of adverse effects on cancer outcomes and quality of life are important considerations in the treatment and supportive care of men with PCa. Exercise is increasingly being recognized as an efficacious strategy in managing these adverse effects.
A rapid review was undertaken to examine the role of exercise in the management of the most commonly reported ADT adverse effects classified according to the CTCAE sub-groups. A systematic search was conducted in Medline, PsycINFO, Google Scholar and Google for the years 2010 to September 2019 to identify the benefits of exercise in managing the adverse effects of ADT for PCa.
There is strong evidence for exercise as medicine in addressing several of the adverse effects of PCa such as loss of muscle mass and strength, fatigue and declining physical function. Moderate level evidence for PCa exists for exercise-induced improvements in depression and anxiety, bone loss, and sexual dysfunction. While evidence of the effectiveness of exercise is lacking for many adverse effects of ADT for PCa, evidence in the cancer population as a whole or other clinical populations is strong, and many clinical guidelines recommend exercise as a fundamental part of their clinical management. With the exception of gynaecomastia and breast pain, there is increasing evidence (PCa, cancer or other clinical populations) to suggest that exercise has the potential to reduce and even prevent many of the adverse effects of ADT, thus improving survivorship outcomes for men with PCa.
Exercise has the potential to reduce and even prevent many of the adverse effects of ADT, thus improving survivorship outcomes for men with PCa. The use of exercise for PCa management has the potential to translate into health and economic benefits in improved quality of life and fewer complications, resulting in savings to the health care system, enhanced productivity and reduced patient and carer burden. Exercise thus has the potential to improve quality of life for this population as well as generate significant cost savings.