Background: Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is commonly used to treat prostate cancer. However, side effects of ADT often lead to reduced quality of life and physical function. Existing evidence demonstrates that exercise can ameliorate multiple treatment-related side effects for men on ADT, yet adherence rates are often low. The method of exercise delivery (e.g., supervised group in-centre vs. individual home-based) may be important from clinical and economic perspectives; however, few studies have compared different delivery models. Additionally, long-term exercise adherence and an understanding of predictors of adherence are critical to achieving sustained benefits, but such data are lacking. The primary aim of this multi-centre phase III non-inferiority randomized controlled trial is to determine whether a home-based delivery model is non-inferior to a group-based delivery model in terms of benefits in fatigue and fitness in this population. Two other key aims include examining cost-effectiveness and long-term adherence.
Methods: Men diagnosed with prostate cancer of any stage, starting or continuing on ADT for at least 6 months, fluent in English, and living close to a study centre are eligible. Participants complete five assessments over 12 months (baseline and every 3 months during the 6-month intervention and 6-month follow-up phases), including a fitness assessment and self-report questionnaires. Biological outcomes are collected at baseline, 6, and 12 months. A total of 200 participants will be randomized in a 1:1 fashion to supervised group training or home-based training supported by smartphones, health coaches, and Fitbit technology. Participants are asked to complete 4 to 5 exercise sessions per week, incorporating aerobic, resistance and flexibility training. Outcomes include fatigue, quality of life, fitness measures, body composition, biological outcomes, and program adherence. Cost information will be obtained using patient diary-based self-report and utilities via the EQ-5D.
Discussion: To disseminate publicly funded exercise programs widely, clinical efficacy and cost-effectiveness have to be demonstrated. The goals of this trial are to provide these data along with an increased understanding of adherence to exercise among men with prostate cancer receiving ADT.
Trial registration: The trial has been registered at clinicaltrials.gov (Registration # NCT02834416 ). Registration date was June 2, 2016.
Keywords: Androgen deprivation therapy; Cost-effectiveness; Exercise; Fatigue; Patient adherence; Physical fitness; Prostate cancer; Quality of life; Randomized controlled trial.