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Randomized Trial to Focus on Lifestyle Changes During Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer

By: Joseph Fanelli
Posted: Tuesday, August 30, 2022

According to a study protocol presented in BMC Cancer, investigators are using a novel approach to see whether lifestyle changes such as customized diet and exercise programs can improve the quality of life and decrease the side effects of radiotherapy for patients with prostate cancer. The Microstyle trial proposes a lifestyle intervention during radiotherapy while also monitoring for changes in the microbiome and serum biomarkers, explained Patrizia Gnagnarella, PhD, of the European Institute of Oncology, Milan, and colleagues.

“The results of this innovative project will provide useful information for future interventions and holds promise to have a large public health impact for prostate cancer survivors,” the authors said.

In this trial, the authors will recruit patients undergoing radiotherapy for prostate cancer from centers in Italy. From a prospective cohort of about 300 patients, they will assign them to either an intervention group or a control group. Those in the intervention cohort will meet with a dietician and physiotherapist before radiotherapy to receive a customized diet and exercise program based on their health status. These patients will be given a pedometer to monitor physical activity. In addition to the basics of height, weight, heart rate, blood pressure saturation, and cholesterol levels, other factors to be assessed will include food consumption, physical activity, quality of life, self-efficacy, anxiety, personality traits, and erectile/urinary function.

Those in the control group will receive general advice and materials about health and dietary habits designed for patients receiving radiotherapy. This cohort will cross to the intervention approach after 6 months of treatment to actively enhance compliance with the suggested lifestyle recommendations.

“The role of the gut microbiota in the gastrointestinal toxicity of radiotherapy has obtained great interest, and evidences regarding the most effective approach in promoting a reduction of toxicity through the adoption of a healthy lifestyle in prostate cancer patients are warranted,” the study investigators commented.

Disclosure: The authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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