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Editorial: The benefits of regular exercise

January is the month when we wish each other happiness and success for the year ahead. It is also the month when many are recovering from the excesses of the festive season. This is the time when gyms and diets become popular again with offers of reduced rates to attract customers. For Londoners the spring marathon is not far away and you often see runners training in different parks despite the cold weather and icy routes.

If you think this year is the one where you are about to start going to the gym, then we recommend you the best shake for post workout to add extra point to your routine.

Is this just a temporary fad? Or is there truly some benefit to be had by exercising regularly?

Over the past few years, we have published several papers showing clear associations between metabolic syndrome and LUTS, and the benefits of preoperative optimisation with diet and exercise prior to major urological surgery. In this issue of the BJUI, we present a small but well‐designed randomised controlled trial on the benefits of exercise in attenuating the treatment side‐effects in patients with newly diagnosed prostate cancer starting on androgen‐deprivation therapy [1]. It is an example of collaborative working between Urologists and experts on Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation therapy. The authors clearly demonstrate that a short‐term programme of supervised exercise results in improvements in quality of life and cardiovascular risk profile in patients on hormonal therapy. Even after the supervised exercise was withdrawn and followed by self‐directed exercise, the benefits continued as compared to the control group.

As Urologists, we can help our patients in this journey by adopting a more active lifestyle ourselves. Inspired by Fiona Godlee’s article in the BMJ [2], I have started printing it and actually handing it/e‐mailing it to my patients. The paper describes physical activity as ‘The miracle cure’ with very few side‐effects. Any level of activity is better than none and a gentle start usually avoids an unexpected injury.

There is no better time to lead by example this New Year!

by Prokar Dasgupta

References

  1. Ndjevera WOrange STO’Doherty AF et al. Exercise‐induced attenuation of treatment side‐effects in patients with newly diagnosed prostate cancer beginning androgen‐deprivation therapy: a randomised controlled trial. BJU Int 2019: 125; 28-37.
  2. Godlee FThe miracle cureBMJ 2019366l5605.

Video: Exercise‐induced attenuation of treatment side‐effects in patients with newly diagnosed PCa beginning androgen‐deprivation therapy

Exercise‐induced attenuation of treatment side‐effects in patients with newly diagnosed prostate cancer beginning androgen‐deprivation therapy: a randomised controlled trial

Abstract

Objectives

(i) To assess whether exercise training attenuates the adverse effects of treatment in patients with newly diagnosed prostate cancer beginning androgen‐deprivation therapy (ADT), and (ii) to examine whether exercise‐induced improvements are sustained after the withdrawal of supervised exercise.

Patients and Methods

In all, 50 patients with prostate cancer scheduled for ADT were randomised to an exercise group (n = 24) or a control group (n = 26). The exercise group completed 3 months of supervised aerobic and resistance exercise training (twice a week for 60 min), followed by 3 months of self‐directed exercise. Outcomes were assessed at baseline, 3‐ and 6‐months. The primary outcome was difference in fat mass at 3‐months. Secondary outcomes included: fat‐free mass, cardiopulmonary exercise testing variables, QRISK®2 (ClinRisk Ltd, Leeds, UK) score, anthropometry, blood‐borne biomarkers, fatigue, and quality of life (QoL).

Results

At 3‐months, exercise training prevented adverse changes in peak O2 uptake (1.9 mL/kg/min, P = 0.038), ventilatory threshold (1.7 mL/kg/min, P = 0.013), O2 uptake efficiency slope (0.21, P = 0.005), and fatigue (between‐group difference in Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy‐Fatigue score of 4.5 points, P = 0.024) compared with controls. After the supervised exercise was withdrawn, the differences in cardiopulmonary fitness and fatigue were not sustained, but the exercise group showed significantly better QoL (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy‐Prostate difference of 8.5 points, P = 0.034) and a reduced QRISK2 score (−2.9%, P = 0.041) compared to controls.

Conclusion

A short‐term programme of supervised exercise in patients with prostate cancer beginning ADT results in sustained improvements in QoL and cardiovascular events risk profile.

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