POSTED: March 08, 2019

Clinical Trial: Exercise For Metabolic Dysregulation After Prostate Cancer

Dr. Christina Dieli-Conwright is an Assistant Professor of Research in the University of Southern California’s Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy.

She’s particularly interested in understanding physiologic mechanisms and designing exercise interventions for cancer patients.

Prostatepedia spoke with her about her clinical trial.

What is the thinking behind your clinical trial?

Dr. Dieli-Conwright: This study spawned from my interest in the side effects and changes that patients were experiencing as they underwent treatment. For some of the more prevalent cancers like breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer, there is literature to provide evidence that individuals are experiencing what I broadly call metabolic dysregulation, which encompasses things like gaining weight, insulin resistance, elevated inflammation, and elevated blood pressure.

Whether they have metabolic dysregulation before diagnosis or whether it develops during treatment, they are at higher risk for experiencing diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. In prostate cancer in particular, when men are prescribed androgen deprivation therapy, there are side effects to that therapy that lead to metabolic dysregulation.

If you look at individuals who exercise who have not had cancer, we know that exercise can successfully offset metabolic dysregulation. It can improve insulin resistance. It can reduce body composition changes, etc. We wanted to apply exercise to this particular population so that these patients may also experience the benefits of exercise.

If a man who’s reading this ends up participating, what can he expect to happen step by step?

Dr. Dieli-Conwright: This is a randomized controlled trial. Individuals will be randomized to either the exercise group, and receive a 16-week, 3 times a week exercise program immediately, or the delayed controlled group. Everybody eventually gets the exercise program, but the “exercise group” gets it first. The delayed controlled group gets the program 16 weeks later.

We ask them to come to our facility, which is here at University of Southern California, to exercise. We pair them one-on-one with a certified cancer exercise trainer. They perform both aerobic and resistance exercises for about one hour every time they come. They perform the exercises in an interval circuit training, high-intensity manner. We’ve done that so that we can really challenge the metabolic systems for energy balance that have been shown to be more effective at targeting metabolic dysregulation as to opposed, for instance, just walking on a treadmill for 60 minutes.

We do a number of tests at the beginning, middle, and end of the 16 weeks. Those tests involve a blood draw so that we can measure glucose and insulin, as well as triglycerides, cholesterol, and markers of inflammation. We measure blood pressure, waist circumference, and body composition so how much muscle and fat the patients have. We also measure bone density. We do a battery of what we call physical function tests: how fast can the man climb upstairs? How fast can he walk six meters? How many times he can sit to stand? We do what we call a cardiopulmonary exercise test to test their maximal fitness and we do a series of strength tests to see how strong their muscles are.

We give them a packet of questionnaires about quality of life, fatigue, depression, and other cancer-related symptoms.

We are measuring the whole gamut of health outcomes even though our main focus is on insulin resistance and metabolic dysregulation simply because that’s the precursor to diabetes and heart disease.

We retest those measures at Week 8 and Week 16. We do follow participants after the 16-week period is over. Regardless of what group they were in, we check on them four months later to see how they’re doing.

Are there any specific eligibility criteria that you want to call attention to?

Dr. Dieli-Conwright: The main thing is that they’re over the age of 18 and that they have been on androgen deprivation therapy for the previous 16 weeks. That’s just so that we can allow the medication to stabilize the hormones. We also look to see whether or not they have been exercising regularly. If they are highly trained from a fitness perspective, then they are not eligible, so we do actually look for people who are relatively sedentary who are not participating in a structured exercise program already. We do that because we are trying to reach out to people who may be at a higher need for these interventions.

Do you care if a man has had surgery or radiation for prostate cancer?

Dr. Dieli-Conwright: No, we do not, as long as the surgery or radiation is completed. If they’re actively on radiation or actively on chemotherapy we would wait until that treatment is done. Often we get calls from patients who are very enthusiastic and eligible, but then tell us they’re starting radiation next week. We have to wait until that treatment is over and they’re cleared by their oncologist for exercise.

Is there anything else you’d like patients to know either about this trial in particular or about exercise for cancer patients in general?

Dr. Dieli-Conwright: We’ve had a number of patients participate already. It’s been very successful. It’s safe. It’s feasible. Everybody’s enjoyed the program. We’ve had very high compliance to date—almost 100%.

But it’s a strong time requirement—3 times a week for 16 weeks—so I would just say that if anybody is interested, even if it’s just a small amount, to contact us. We have very flexible scheduling times and can accommodate exercise almost 24/7. We have a large staff and a number of trainers who are eager to help. We try not to turn anybody away because of scheduling and try to work around work schedules if that’s a concern.

We would love to take more patients.

Subscribe or download our February issue to read more about this trial.


3 Comment


In my opinion: Read my story. A prostate cancer survival guide by a patient and victim. Beware, the ugly truth. What doctors are not telling you! Read the sad truth about prostate cancer over testing and treatment dangers and exploitation for profit by predatory doctors that no one will tell you about, even after it’s too late. The man that invented the PSA test, Dr. Richard Ablin now calls it: "The Great Prostate Mistake, Hoax and a Profit-Driven Public Health Disaster”. Prostate cancer dirty secrets, lies, exaggerations, deceptions, elder abuse, outdated testing and treatments. Any man over 50, anyone concerned about cancer in general, dangers from clinical trials, injuries and deaths from medical mistakes, should read this document. Read “A prostate cancer survival guide by a patient and victim, Beware, the ugly truth. Free information. Go to:

Posted: Mar 19, 2020

Ed Vogt

Do you have a program in Walnut Creek, CA?
I gained 30 lbs from 190 lbs to 225 lbs caused directly by androgen drugs/radiation txment for prostate ca. The md’s ignored and walked away from the new medical problems that their advised androgen treatment caused me.
This additional 30 lbs from androgen txment gained in 36 days caused the now use more meds 1) a statin for spiked cholestrol and 2) blood pressure med for spiked b/p.
I need help. There was no help after the androgen drugs that caused this problem.
Playing tennis is impossible with this fat from the androgen meds.
Changing diet to veges, fish excerise does not work.
I really need a program like you have there.
What may we work out so I may participate asap.
I am 75 yrs old and am suffering from this extra fat not by diet but by androgen drugs.
Please call my cell or email back.
Thank you.
Walnut Creek, Ca

Posted: Mar 27, 2019


Per multiple experts: The testing and treatments for prostate cancer are often worse than the disease.

Follow the money!
The man that invented the PSA test, Dr. Richard Ablin now calls it: "The Great Prostate Mistake, Hoax and a Profit-Driven Public Health Disaster”

The Walking dead: After a blind biopsy and conventional treatment men can be left impotent, incontinent, fatigued, sterile, exploited, embarrassed, isolated, deceived or mislead, devastated, demoralized, depressed, with ruined relationships, possibly feminized or castrated, Increased use of antidepressants, suicidal, low libido, stressed, left with complications, sometimes financially harmed or ruined, sometimes radiated or radioactive. And sometimes literally dead. A few men can even suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after treatment. Loss of libido estimated at about 45% or higher, excluding hormone therapy. After testing and treatment your life may be very deferent. Prostate cancer patients can be elderly and exploited for profit . Aftercare for long-term side effects can be ineffective, expensive, not offered, degrading, demoralizing, lacking or nonexistent. Prostate cancer patients are often not told about chronic fatigue, depression, increased risk of peyronie’s disease, loss of libido and the true risk of side effects are often understated. Your dignity, privacy and confidentiality can be disregarded. Your medical records can be viewed by several people and downloaded to multiple servers. Modern medicine often fails, victimizes and exploits prostate cancer patients.

Posted: Mar 27, 2019

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