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10-06-2017 | Prostate cancer | Article

Effects of resistance exercise in prostate cancer patients: a meta-analysis

Supportive Care in Cancer

Authors: M. Keilani, T. Hasenoehrl, L. Baumann, R. Ristl, M. Schwarz, M. Marhold, T. Sedghi Komandj, R. Crevenna

Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg



The aim of the present meta-analysis was to quantify effects of resistance exercise (RE) on physical performance and function, body composition, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and fatigue in patients with prostate cancer.


Trial data were obtained from the databases PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, SCOPUS, and the Cochrane Library as of inception to 31st of December 2016. Thirty-two trials with 1199 patients were included. Results that were measured by using the same assessment method in five or more of the original studies were pooled in a meta-analysis.


Pooled studies showed significant improvements of muscular strength in the upper and lower body (95% CI [2.52, 7.97] kg; p < 0.001 and 95% CI [10.51, 45.88] kg; p = 0.008, respectively) after RE. Furthermore, significant improvements were seen for body composition (body fat percentage 95% CI [−0.79, −0.53] %; p < 0.001; lean body mass 95% CI [0.15, 1.84] %; p = 0.028; trunk fat mass 95% CI [−0.73, −0.08] kg; p = 0.024). Additionally, the improvement of the 400-m walk time was significant (95% CI [−21.55, −14.65] s; p < 0.001). Concerning fatigue and HRQoL, there were not sufficient data for analysis.


RE seems to be a promising approach in order to counteract loss of muscle mass, muscle strength, and physical performance in patients suffering from prostate cancer and its treatment-related side effects. RE should play part in interdisciplinary cancer rehabilitation and care of this patient group. Nevertheless, further research should investigate RE further to determine which protocols are the most pragmatic, yet yielding best patient outcomes.

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