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Health Club Management

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£2.5m study to chart benefits of exercise for prostate cancer sufferers

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is investing £2.5m in a study to find out whether long-term exercise can help tackle the side effects of prostate cancer treatment.

The Stamina study will test whether a long-term, supported exercise programme – included as part of NHS cancer care and delivered by commercial partners in the community – can help reduce side effects in men who have had androgen deprivation therapy (ADT).

Funded by NIHR’s Programme Grants for Applied Research scheme, the five-year study will be led by researchers at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and Sheffield Hallam University, in partnership with not-for-profit healthcare provider Nuffield Health. Professor Derek Rosario, a consultant urological surgeon at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, has been named chief investigator.

ADT is a standard treatment for men with advanced prostate cancer but causes several side effects. Men can experience fatigue and depression and are at an increased risk of bone fractures, diabetes, and heart and circulatory issues.

Previous research has shown that short-term exercise can help tackle some of these side effects.

Current treatment guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommend 12 weeks of supervised exercise for men having ADT.

The Stamina study will involve around 1,000 men being treated with ADT, split randomly into two groups. One group will receive a 12-month individually tailored exercise programme, delivered free of charge by Nuffield Health at its health clubs. The other group will receive NHS best practice treatment based on the NICE guidance. The study will take place at around 40 NHS sites.

Professor Derek Rosario said: “We have been working in this area for over 10 years now.

"We have shown that specific, targeted exercise training significantly reduces many of the adverse effects caused by ADT as well as improving quality of life in these men.

"Unless the intervention is embedded within the cancer care of the man and ongoing support is provided though, participation dwindles and the benefits are lost.

"So finding cost-effective ways of ensuring men on ADT continue with their training programme is essential if we are to reduce the side effects and provide sustained benefits."

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The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is investing £2.5m in a study to find out whether long-term exercise can help tackle the side effects of prostate cancer treatment.
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