Exercise improves survival in prostate cancer patients

February 2nd, 2012 - 7:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Feb 2 (IANS) Scientists have identified 184 genes in men that may explain how vigorous exercise improves survival chances in low-grade prostate cancer.

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, (UCSF) teased out a molecular profile of these genes whose expression in the prostate gland is tied to vigorous exercise.

“Vigorous physical activity may provide clinical benefits for men diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer,” said study author June Chan, professor at the UCSF.

The finding is based on two studies conducted earlier by the UCSF and the Harvard School of Public Health that compared the activity of 20,000 genes in healthy prostate tissue biopsied from dozens of patients, according to a statement from the UCSF.

They showed that brisk walking or vigorous exercise such as jogging for three or more hours a week was linked to a lowered risk of prostate cancer progression and death after diagnosis, but offered no explanation as to why.

Understanding how the activity of these genes was impacted by vigorous exercise and how this might translate to a lowered risk of prostate cancer progression may help reveal new ways to manage the disease, said Chan.

Prostate cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the US. More than 217,000 men are diagnosed with the disease, and some 32,000 men die from prostate cancer, each year, according to the National Cancer Institute.

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