SEATTLE — June 6, 2017 — Obesity and prostate cancer are two of the most common health issues facing men today. The Prostate Cancer Active Lifestyle Study is a new clinical trial enrolling 200 overweight men with prostate cancer on active surveillance.
The study aims to determine whether weight loss achieved through a structured diet and physical activity program will improve the short- and long-term health of men with low-risk prostate cancer. The National Cancer Institute-funded study will investigate the role of impaired glucose regulation, which is commonly associated with obesity and worse outcomes in prostate cancer, in prostate cancer progression.
Dr. Jonathan Wright, an associate member of the Public Health Sciences Division at Fred Hutch and an associate professor of urology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, is leading the study in collaboration with Fred Hutch Drs. Marian Neuhouser and Jeannette Schenk and other investigators from UW and the VA Puget Sound Health Care System.
Although men on active surveillance have low-risk diagnoses, 50 percent will experience disease progression that requires more extensive treatment, such as surgery or radiation. Wright and his team hypothesize that losing weight through a healthy diet and physical activity could decrease the rate of disease progression. “Many men on active surveillance are anxious about doing ‘nothing’ for their prostate cancer. This study has the potential to provide both patients and providers with an active yet noninvasive therapy that could benefit not only their prostate cancer, but also their overall health and quality of life,” Wright said.
“We all have busy lives and priorities that make it difficult to stick to a diet and exercise regimen,” Wright said. “Part of our goal here is to prioritize a shift in lifestyle through a structured, supervised program that participants can sustain after the study concludes. This intervention, which is modeled on the Diabetes Prevention Program, has a track record of success for participants keeping the weight off years later. Findings from this study will help us understand how obesity affects prostate cancer outcomes, and could have a profound impact on clinical practice by providing a lifestyle intervention as an active treatment for men on active surveillance.”
Study participants will be randomly assigned to either the “lifestyle intervention” or “comparison” group. Men in the lifestyle intervention group will meet regularly with a nutritionist and exercise specialist during the first six months of the study to receive structured instruction on a healthy diet and physical activity for weight loss. The comparison group will meet with a nutritionist once to receive information about standard guidelines for a healthy diet and physical activity. Regardless of group assignment, all participants will complete various activities at the Fred Hutch Prevention Center, including physical measurements, blood draws, two body-composition and exercise tests and several questionnaires. Participants will be followed for one year.
All men who complete the study will receive $100 to compensate for their time and travel expenses, and free parking will be provided. Men will also receive results of body-composition and exercise testing free of charge.
At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home to three Nobel laureates, interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists seek new and innovative ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. Fred Hutch’s pioneering work in bone marrow transplantation led to the development of immunotherapy, which harnesses the power of the immune system to treat cancer. An independent, nonprofit research institute based in Seattle, Fred Hutch houses the nation’s first cancer prevention research program, as well as the clinical coordinating center of the Women’s Health Initiative and the international headquarters of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network.