Posted on Jan 31, 2014, 6 a.m.
By reducing adverse changes to the shape of blood vessels, exercise may improve outcomes in men with prostate cancer.
Previously published studies report that men who engage in higher levels of physical activity are at a lower risk of prostate cancer recurrence and mortality, as compared with men who participate in little or no physical activity. Erin Van Blarigan, from the University of California/San Francisco (UCSF; California, USA), and colleagues investigated whether prediagnostic physical activity was associated with prostate tumor blood vessel regularity among 572 men enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Prediagnostic physical activity was determined through analysis of questionnaire answers. Blood vessel regularity was established by semiautomated image analysis of the tumor samples. Blood vessels that are perfect circles are considered the ideal shape and given a score of 1. Higher values indicate less regular blood vessels. The researchers found that men with the fastest walking pace (3.3 to 4.5 miles per hour) prior to diagnosis had 8% more regularly shaped blood vessels compared with men with the slowest walking pace (1.5 to 2.5 miles per hour). The lead author comments that: "In this study, we found that men who reported walking at a brisk pace had more regularly shaped blood vessels in their prostate tumors compared with men who reported walking at a less brisk pace. Our findings suggest a possible mechanism by which exercise may improve outcomes in men with prostate cancer. Our study supports the growing evidence of the benefits of exercise, such as brisk walking, for men with prostate cancer."
Erin Van Blarigan et al. “Physical activity and tumor vessel morphology among men with prostate cancer” [Abstract # 75791_1]. Presentation at American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)-Prostate Cancer Foundation Conference on Advances in Prostate Cancer Research, 19 Jan. 2014.