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Exercising Options to Improve Prostate Cancer Outcomes

January 17, 2022

The January 2022 #radonc #JC features the effects of exercise in patients with prostate cancer undergoing radiation therapy.

The discussion will begin Saturday, January 22nd at 8 AM CST and go through Sunday, January 23rd, culminating in the live hour from 5-6 pm CST, Sunday January 23rd.

There is no better way to start 2022 than focusing on one of the new year resolutions of many of us and that is exercise! As radiation oncologists, we have all heard about the positive effects of exercise on decreasing fatigue and improving physical function in patients who are receiving radiation as part of their treatment. However, it is interesting to know if exercise can have any positive impact on patient reported outcome (PRO) as well as quality of life.

In the last decade, we have seen a 27% decline in cancer deaths due to early detection and improved treatment options and this has resulted in an increase in the number of cancer survivors, around 15.5 million in the United States, and this is expected to double by 2040 [1]. Therefore, it is important to find ways to improve patients’ quality of life and reduce treatment toxicities. Enough evidence is available to support that aerobic, resistance training and combined aerobic plus resistance training can improve cancer related health outcomes including fatigue, physical function, anxiety, depression, and quality of life [2]. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid inactivity in cancer survivors.

Since patients with prostate cancer can have different treatment options including androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), radical prostatectomy and radiation, the effects of exercise can vary with each treatment modality. Therefore, in this month’s journal club, we will focus on the effects of exercise in patients with prostate cancer undergoing radiation therapy. We will review:

Schumacher O et al. Effects of Exercise During Radiation Therapy on Physical Function & Treatment-Related Side Effects in Men With Prostate Cancer: A Systematic Review & Meta-Analysis. IJROBP. 2021; 111(3), 716–731.


This paper is a systematic review of seven publications from 6 randomized controlled trials involving 391 prostate cancer patients who underwent objectively measured physical function (cardiorespiratory fitness, upper/lower body strength and mobility) and had toxicity, symptoms, and PRO assessment. Of note, a subgroup of patients received ADT in most studies.

Thanks to the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics for making this review article free access.

We are thrilled to be joined by our Australian colleagues, Dr. Oliver Schumacher and Dr. Rob Newton for this month’s #radonc #JC.

Our guiding topics this month are as follows:

T1. Background: How is exercise defined in this systematic review? How many hours of exercise are considered as adequate? Is it required to participate in group exercises?

T2. Methods: How did these studies review PRO and treatment-related side effects?

T3. Results/Discussion: What is the effect of exercise on prostate cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy? What is the effect of exercise in patients who are receiving ADT or who have undergone radical prostatectomy before radiation? Is there a benefit to continued exercise after treatment?

T4. #PatientsIncluded: What are the perspectives of prostate cancer patients participating in exercise? How can we encourage patients increase their physical activity?

T5. Next steps: How can this study change prostate cancer treatment and clinical outcomes moving forward?


  • Guidelines on how to sign up & participate
  • Disclaimer for ways to keep #RadOnc #JC rewarding and professional. If you’re not ready, just lurk & tune in to the conversation.
  • Just don’t forget to include #RadOnc #JC tags in your tweets!

Suggestions? Leave a comment or tweet/DM us at @Rad_Nation.
And please join us this weekend!


1. Siegel RL, Miller KD, Jemal A. Cancer statistics, 2019. CA Cancer J Clin. 2019;69(1):7–34. doi: 10.3322/caac.2155

2. Campbell KL, Winters-Stone KM, Wiskemann J, et al. Exercise Guidelines for Cancer Survivors: Consensus Statement from International Multidisciplinary Roundtable. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2019;51(11):2375-2390.

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