2022 Cancer Council WA 2022 Prostate Cancer Research Initiative

The objective of the Prostate Cancer Initiative is to direct funds to advance the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.


Project title: Can a telehealth delivered exercise program with nutritional advice be as effective as a supervised clinic-based exercise and nutrition program for weight loss and health enhancement in overweight and obese men with prostate cancer?
Lead researcher: Prof Daniel Galvão
Institution: Edith Cowan University
Project team: Prof Rob Newton , Edith Cowan University
Prof Dennis Taaffe, Edith Cowan University
Prof Dickon Hayne, Fiona Stanley Hospital
Prof Suzanna Chambers, University of Technology Sydney
Dr Colin Tang, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
Prof Amanda Devine, Edith Cowan University
Prof Nigel Spry, Edith Cowan University
Prof David Joseph, 5D Clinics
Mr Pedro Lopez Da Cruz, Edith Cowan University
Project description:

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in Australia and the second most common cause of cancer-related death. Men who are overweight/obese are at increased risk for treatment-related side-effects and increased risk of the cancer to spread. A common treatment undertaken by men with prostate cancer is hormone therapy, however, it leads to an increase in weight due to gains in fat mass while muscle mass is lost. Therefore, treatments to improve weight loss are important, especially for those who have been exposed to hormone therapy. To date, strategies to combat this weight gain have been ineffective.

The team recently showed a clinic-based targeted and supervised exercise and nutrition program to be effective in reducing fat mass by ~3kg in these men. The problem is that not all men would have access to such a program, such as those in regional, rural and remote settings, or have the financial ability to pay. Telehealth has emerged as a viable way to deliver healthcare. The aim of the project is to determine if the program delivered via telehealth is as effective as the supervised clinic-based program for fat weight loss, reducing cardiovascular disease risk, and enhancing physical and mental health in overweight/obese men with prostate cancer.

The study will recruit 104 overweight/obese men with prostate cancer and current or past usage of hormones and randomise them to a telehealth delivered program or the supervised clinic-based program for six months and then follow them for an additional six months. The clinic-based exercise program, which comprises of resistance and aerobic training, with nutritional advice will be the same as that in the pilot study and will be adapted to be delivered by telehealth using the latest technologies such as video chat with remote monitoring.

If the telehealth delivered program is effective, then it can be rolled-out at a low cost to patients, regardless of their financial position or where they live.

Funding from Cancer Council WA: $164,568 in 2022 ($472,739 total for 2021-2023)
Fully supported: In the name of the initiative for cancer research into the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer through the provision of the late Alan Tuthill by including a gift in his Will to make this research possible.