Exercise could work as treatment for prostate cancer
A newly-launched Cancer Research UK study could be the first step towards exercise training being introduced as a new NHS treatment for prostate cancer.
The PANTERA study, led by Sheffield Hallam University, will focus on 50 men who have the disease, but whose cancer has not spread.
Half of the men in the study will carry out two-and-a-half hours of aerobic exercise every week for 12 months – initially with the support of a qualified trainer and then with free access to local gyms. The other half will be given information about the benefits of exercise for cancer patients but will have no supervised sessions.*
Prostate cancer that has not spread is sometimes treated with surgery or radiotherapy. But this can have side-effects so many men opt for active surveillance instead, which involves monitoring the disease. All the men in the PANTERA study are and will remain on active surveillance – and they will also be closely monitored as part of the study itself.
If the participants can successfully keep up their exercise regime for 12 months, the study is expected to lead to a full-scale trial to look at the potential benefits of combining active surveillance and exercise for some prostate cancer patients.
This trial – believed to be the first of its kind in the world – would aim to test whether regular exercise can help keep prostate cancer from spreading to other parts of the body and could be a viable NHS treatment.
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