SAN DIEGO Men who walked at a fast pace prior to a prostate cancer diagnosis had more regularly shaped blood vessels in their prostate tumors compared with men who walked slowly, providing a potential explanation for why exercise is linked to improved outcomes for men with prostate cancer, according to results presented here at the AACR-Prostate Cancer Foundation Conference on Advances in Prostate Cancer Research, held Jan. 18-21.
Men who engage in higher levels of physical activity have been reported to have a lower risk of prostate cancer recurrence and mortality compared with men who participate in little or no physical activity. The biological mechanisms underlying this association are not known.
"Prior research has shown that men with prostate tumors containing more regularly shaped blood vessels have a more favorable prognosis compared with men with prostate tumors containing mostly irregularly shaped blood vessels," said Erin Van Blarigan, Sc.D., assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco. "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," continued Van Blarigan. "Although data from randomized, controlled trials are needed before we can conclude that exercise causes a change in vessel regularity or clinical 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."
The Health Professionals Follow-up Study, which was initiated in 1986, enables researchers to examine how nutritional and lifestyle factors affect the incidence of serious illnesses, such as cancer and heart disease. Every tw
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American Association for Cancer Research