Altered Stress Hormone Response Following Acute Exercise During Prostate Cancer Treatment

Exercise training reduces the side effects of cancer treatments, however, the stress hormone response to acute exercise during prostate cancer (PCa) treatment is unclear.

To examine the effects of acute exercise on circulating cortisol, epinephrine (Epi), and norepinephrine (NE) concentrations during PCa treatment with and without androgen deprivation therapy (ADT).

Men with PCa (n=11), with PCa on ADT (n=11) and non-cancer controls (n=8) had blood samples for stress hormones collected before and immediately (0h), 2h, and 24h after 45 minutes of intermittent cycling at 60% of peak wattage.

NE increased by 385% (p<0.001) at 0h and remained elevated at 2h (p<0.05) with no group differences. Overall, cortisol significantly increased at 0h (36%, p<0.012) and then significantly decreased below baseline at 2h (-24%, p<0.001) before returning to resting levels at 24h. Cortisol levels during ADT were 32% lower than PCa (p=0.006) with no differences vs. controls. Epi increased immediately after exercise more in controls (817%, p<0.001) than with ADT (700%) and PCa (333%) patients and both cancer groups absolute levels were attenuated relative to controls (ADT: -54%, PCa: -52%, p=0.004).

Compared with age-matched controls, PCa and ADT patients exhibited similar stress hormone responses with acute exercise for NE and cortisol but an attenuated EPI response that suggests altered adrenal function. Future studies should examine the physical stress of multiple exercise bouts to verify these findings and to explore the functional hormonal effects, such as immune and metabolic responses, during cancer treatment. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports. 2018 Apr 18 [Epub ahead of print]

Erik D Hanson, Samy Sakkal, William S Evans, John A Violet, Claudio L Battaglini, Glenn K McConell, Alan Hayes

Department of Exercise & Sport Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA., Institute for Health and Sport, Victoria University, Melbourne, Vic, Australia., Division of Radiation Oncology and Cancer Imaging, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, East Melbourne, Vic, Australia.

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