The findings of a literature review validate exercise as a means of relieving some of the adverse effects of androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT).

Exercise has been proposed as a strategy for alleviating a range of treatment-related adverse effects of ADT that can be detrimental to patient health and quality of life, Steve F. Fraser, PhD, of the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at Deakin University in Burwood, Victoria, Australia, and colleagues wrote in Journal of Clinical Oncology. To explore the role of exercise after ADT, Fraser’s team conducted a systematic review of the literature.

The 10 studies ultimately included in the review, including some randomized controlled trials, involved aerobic and/or resistance training. All were described in peer-reviewed articles published between January 1980 and June 2013.

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The investigators deemed the impact of exercise on bone health, cardiometabolic risk markers, and quality of life to be unclear, and the impact of exercise on adiposity to be inconsistent. However, Dr. Fraser and his associates found exercise to be beneficial in terms of muscle strength, cardiorespiratory fitness, functional task performance, lean body mass, and fatigue.

The researchers concluded that appropriately prescribed exercise is safe for men with prostate cancer treated with ADT, and may ameliorate a range of treatment-induced side effects. However, they also pointed out that ongoing research of high methodologic quality is needed to learn more about the effects of exercise on ADT-related side effects, and to foster the development of specific, evidence-based exercise recommendations.