Enhancing active surveillance of prostate cancer: the potential of exercise medicine
Active surveillance (AS) is a strategy for the management of patients with low-risk, localized prostate cancer, in which men undergo regular monitoring of serum PSA levels and tumour characteristics, using multiparametric MRI and repeat biopsy sampling, to identify signs of disease progression. This strategy reduces overtreatment of clinically insignificant disease while also preserving opportunities for curative therapy in patients whose disease progresses. Preliminary studies of lifestyle interventions involving basic exercise advice have indicated that exercise reduces the numbers of patients undergoing active treatment, as well as modulating the biological processes involved in tumour progression. Therefore, preliminary evidence suggests that lifestyle and/or exercise interventions might have therapeutic potential in this growing population of men with prostate cancer. However, several important issues remain unclear: the exact value of different types of lifestyle and exercise medicine interventions during AS; the biological mechanisms of exercise in delaying disease progression; and the influence of the anxieties and distress created by having a diagnosis of cancer without then receiving active treatment. Future studies are required to confirm and expand these findings and determine the relative contributions of each lifestyle component to specific end points and patient outcomes during AS.