Journal of Cancer Survivorship

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 431–440 | Cite as

A randomised controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy of a 6-month dietary and physical activity intervention for patients receiving androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer

  • Roisin F. O’NeillEmail author
  • Farhana Haseen
  • Liam J. Murray
  • Joe M. O’Sullivan
  • Marie M. Cantwell



Treatment of prostate cancer with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is associated with an increased fat mass, decreased lean mass, increased fatigue and a reduction in quality of life (QoL). The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a 6-month dietary and physical activity intervention for prostate cancer patients receiving ADT, to help minimise these side effects.


Patients (n = 94) were recruited to this study if they were planned to receive ADT for prostate cancer for at least 6 months. Men randomised to the intervention arm received a dietary and exercise intervention, commensurate with UK healthy eating and physical activity recommendations. The primary outcome of interest was body composition; secondary outcomes included fatigue, QoL, functional capacity, stress and dietary change.


The intervention group had a significant (p < 0.001) reduction in weight, body mass index and percentage fat mass compared to the control group at 6 months; the between-group differences were −3.3 kg (95 % confidence interval (95 % CI) −4.5, −2.1), −1.1 kg/m2 (95 % CI −1.5, −0.7) and −2.1 % (95 % CI −2.8, −1.4), respectively, after adjustment for baseline values. The intervention resulted in improvements in functional capacity (p < 0.001) and dietary intakes but did not significantly impact fatigue, QoL or stress scores at endpoint.


A 6-month diet and physical activity intervention can minimise the adverse body composition changes associated with ADT.

Implications for Cancer Survivors

This study shows that a pragmatic lifestyle intervention is feasible and can have a positive impact on health behaviours and other key outcomes in men with prostate cancer receiving ADT.


Diet Physical activity Prostate cancer Androgen deprivation therapy Body composition Quality of life 



Salary costs for this project were covered by the Department of Employment and Learning and the Centre of Excellence for Public Health, Queen’s University Belfast. The authors would like to acknowledge the contribution of the administrative and clinical staff at the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre, particularly nurses Barbara Harvey and Wendy McPhee. Special thanks also to the prostate cancer patients who gave so generously of their time.

Conflict of interest

Roisin F O’Neill, Farhana Haseen, Liam J Murray, Joe M O’Sullivan and Marie M Cantwell declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research involving human participants

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standard.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roisin F. O’Neill
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Farhana Haseen
    • 1
  • Liam J. Murray
    • 1
  • Joe M. O’Sullivan
    • 2
  • Marie M. Cantwell
    • 1
  1. 1.Cancer Epidemiology and Health Services Research Group, Centre for Public HealthQueen’s University BelfastBelfastUK
  2. 2.Centre for Cancer Research and Cell BiologyQueen’s University BelfastBelfastUK
  3. 3.Institute of Clinical Sciences, Block BQueen’s University Belfast, Royal Victoria HospitalBelfastUK

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