A Randomised Controlled Trial of a diet and physical activity intervention in prostate cancer patients and related studies

  • Roisin Frances O'Neill

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The utilisation of Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT) in prostate cancer patients is associated with a number of adverse side effects including: changes in body composition; an increase in fat mass and a decrease in muscle mass, increased fatigue and a reduced Quality of Life (QoL). Existing literature suggests that physical activity plays a key role in alleviating some of the associated side effects of ADT;however studies in this area are based on supervised facility-based exercise programs without dietary modification.

The aim of this thesis is to present the rationale and methodology of a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) to test the efficacy of a 6 month combined dietary and walking intervention on alleviating the Health-Related QoL (HRQoL) issues associated with ADT treatment. Ninety-four men were recruited and randomised to the intervention arm or a standard care control arm. The trial had a significant impact on reducing the adverse body composition changes as well as improving the functional capacity of intervention patients compared to control patients.

Additionally, using data from the Prospective Epidemiological Study of MyocardialInfarction (PRIME) study, the association between body composition measurements(body mass index, height, waist circumference and waist-hip ratio), physical activity,smoking status and prostate cancer risk was explored using Cox Proportional Hazardanalysis. None of the included lifestyle behaviours or body composition measurements had a statistically significant effect on prostate cancer risk.

A systematic review was also completed to determine if expression of the lipogenic enzyme Fatty Acid Synthase (FAS) differs in prostate cancer tissue compared with normal prostate tissue, and if FAS expression in cancer tissue has a role in prostate cancer progression. The number of studies in the area was limited, however 6 of the 7 studies included in the review reported elevated FAS expression in prostate cancer tissue when compared to normal tissue.
Date of AwardJul 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SupervisorMarie Cantwell (Supervisor) & Liam Murray (Supervisor)

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