EXERCISE has been shown to be beneficial even in late stages of prostate cancer, according to new data. Previous studies had already shown that exercise could aid the suppression of the growth of cancer cells by changing the chemical environment of the body in males with advanced prostate cancer. The team had observed that proteins produced by the skeletal muscles, known as myokines, can help actively fight cancerous cells and suppress tumour growth, as they stimulate multiple anti-cancer processes in the body.
New data show that even a single bout of exercise can be beneficial by elevating myokines, which induces cancer suppression. The study focused on patients with incurable, advanced cancer who had already received extensive treatments. Nine participants who had late-stage prostate cancer engaged in 34 minutes of high intensity exercise. Blood serum was collected immediately before and after the workout, as well as 30 minutes later. Researchers noted elevated levels of anti-cancer myokines immediately after exercise, leading to a suppression of the growth of cancer cells by approximately 17%. After 30 minutes, the levels had returned to baseline.
Study supervisor Rob Newton, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Australia, stated: “The findings from our work are particularly exciting because we report for the first time ever that men with advanced prostate cancer are able to produce an acute elevation in anti-cancer molecules called myokines in response to a single bout of vigorous exercise.” This helps to understand why disease progression is slowed and survival prolonged in patients with cancer who exercise. While the participants were palliative, the study shows that survival is extended through the increased myokine levels.
More research is needed to evaluate what the optimal dose of exercise is; however, authors believe that this study provides evidence to recommend exercise most days to patients with prostate cancer, or any other cancer type. Exercise should include resistance training in order to increase the capacity and size of the internal pharmacy, grow muscles, and stimulate myokine production.