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Department of Urology

November 14, 2017

Study examines how diet and exercise factor into management of low-grade prostate cancer

Dr. Jonathan Wright

Dr. Jonathan Wright

Urologic oncologist Dr. Jonathan Wright, an associate professor in the Department of Urology, medical director of the UWMC Urology Clinic and researcher with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, is leading a new study looking at how controlled interventions in diet and exercise – resulting in weight loss – affect the short- and long-term outcomes for men with low-grade prostate cancer on active surveillance.

Prostate Cancer Active Lifestyle Study (PALS) participants travel to Fred Hutch, where the study is based, for regular meetings with a nutritionist and an exercise physiologist. A combined diet and exercise program that is based on the Diabetes Prevention Program may affect markers (or “biomarkers”) of prostate cancer progression. Gathering this information may help Dr. Wright and other researchers understand how obesity affects prostate cancer progression and may help lead to a program that can reduce the risk of prostate cancer progression.

The researchers postulate that maintaining lower levels of glucose through weight loss will slow the cancer’s growth and improve both long-term survival and quality of life.

Further reading: Connecting the dots between weight loss and prostate cancer

In addition to studying the relationship between obesity and adverse prostate cancer outcomes, Dr. Wright is involved in several clinical trials aimed at improving outcomes in patient with bladder cancer. Further, along with the UW Genitourinary Research Laboratory, Dr. Wright and other researchers are working to build bladder cancer models to understand mechanisms of resistance to chemotherapy. The team has established a Rapid Autopsy Program for bladder cancer building upon the extensive work done in prostate cancer at the University of Washington.

Video: Study examines how diet, exercise might slow prostate cancer (KING 5, November 6, 2017)