Exercise prevents fatigue and improves quality of life in prostate cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2007 Nov;88(11):1416-22. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2007.08.110.


Objective: To show fatigue prevention and quality of life (QOL) improvement from cardiovascular exercise during radiotherapy.

Design: Prospective enrollment (n=21), randomized to exercise (n=11) and control groups (n=10), with pre- and post-radiotherapy between- and within-group comparisons.

Setting: Academic medical center.

Participants: Localized prostate cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy.

Interventions: The interventional group received radiotherapy plus aerobic exercise 3 times a week for 8 weeks whereas the control group received radiotherapy without exercise.

Main outcome measures: Pre- and post-radiotherapy differences in cardiac fitness, fatigue, depression, functional status, physical, social, and functional well-being, leg strength, and flexibility were examined within and between 2 groups.

Results: No significant differences existed between 2 groups at pre-radiotherapy assessment. At post-radiotherapy assessment, the exercise group showed significant within group improvements in: cardiac fitness (P<.001), fatigue (P=.02), Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Prostate (FACT-P) (P=.04), physical well-being (P=.002), social well-being (P=.02), flexibility (P=.006), and leg strength (P=.000). Within the control group, there was a significant increase in fatigue score (P=.004) and a decline in social well-being (P<.05) at post-radiotherapy assessment. Between-group differences at post-radiotherapy assessment were significant in cardiac fitness (P=.006), strength (P=.000), flexibility (P<.01), fatigue (P<.001), FACT-P (P=.006), physical well-being (P<.001), social well-being (P=.002), and functional well-being (P=.04).

Conclusions: An 8-week cardiovascular exercise program in patients with localized prostate cancer undergoing radiotherapy improved cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, muscle strength, and overall QOL and prevented fatigue.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Exercise / psychology*
  • Exercise Test
  • Fatigue / prevention & control*
  • Fatigue / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Fitness / psychology
  • Pliability
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / psychology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / rehabilitation*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*