Is exercise the best medicine?

Author: Movember
Last weekend at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, the Movember Foundation hosted an international meeting with an esteemed group of urologists, exercise physiologists, oncologists and other researchers to kick start a world’s first clinical trial that will examine the effectiveness of exercise as a medicine against prostate cancer progression. This is a groundbreaking project funded as part of the Movember Foundation’s Global Action Plan (GAP).

It may seem obvious to us that exercise is good for you and we know that it can have positive long-term health benefits, but as with using any drug to treat health problems, it makes sense that we might apply exercise in a more measured and systematic way. So, together this group of experts from Ireland, USA, Australia, Netherlands, Germany, Canada and the UK are running a Movember Foundation funded clinical trial with almost 1,000 men to look at the impact of exercise both in the gym and under the microscope. The trial is the first if its kind and when it’s complete, we hope to land on a new innovative treatment for men with advanced prostate cancer.

In the future, along with instructions from a doctor about how often to take pills and tablets, men with prostate cancer may also have a prescription for exercise as a consequence of this work. This aims to improve their quality of life and the symptoms they face.

Dr Stephen Finn, Associate Professor Consultant at Trinity College in Dublin commented: “Evidence continues to accumulate that exercise is a medicine and has dramatic effects in relation to cancer prevention, as treatment, and preventing cancer from recurring. This Movember Foundation funded project is a unique opportunity to prove that exercise acting as a medicine delays prostate cancer progression and improves the lives of men with prostate cancer.”

Previous research has shown that men engaging in vigorous exercise at diagnosis may significantly reduce their risk of progressing to fatal prostate cancer.

We’ll keep you updated along the way, but in the mean time you can read more about the GAP4 Global Prostate Cancer Exercise and Metabolic Health Initiative here.

Participating institutions:
  • Edith Cowan University, Perth
  • Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre
  • Deakin University, Melbourne
  • University of Montreal, Canada
  • Princes Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto
  • German Sports University, Cologne
  • Trinity College Dublin
  • Erasmus MC, Netherlands
  • Queens University Belfast
  • University of Glasgow
  • Kings College London
  • University of California, San Francisco
  • Cedars Sinai Medical Centre
  • Oregon Health & Science University
  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Centre
  • University of Colorado
  • University of Surrey