Prostate cancer and physical activity: adaptive response to oxidative stress

Free Radic Biol Med. 2013 Jul;60:115-24. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2013.02.009. Epub 2013 Feb 24.


Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer affecting men in the Western world. Its relative incidence increases exponentially with age and a steady increase is observed with extended life span. A sedentary lifestyle represents an important risk factor and a decrease in prostate cancer prevalence is associated with exercise. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in this process remain unknown. We hypothesize that reactive oxygen species generated by physical exercise are a key regulatory factor in prostate cancer prevention. Aging is correlated with increased oxidative stress (OS), which in turn provides a favorable environment for tumorigenesis. Running training is known to enhance the antioxidant defense system, reducing oxidative stress. In this context, the decrease in OS induced by exercise may delay the development of prostate cancer. This review focuses on oxidative stress-based mechanisms leading to prostate cancer sensitization to exercise, which could have some impact on the development of novel cancer therapeutic strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological*
  • Aging / metabolism
  • Aging / pathology
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Antioxidants / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • Antioxidants
  • Reactive Oxygen Species