Dr Gillian Prue

Dr Gillian Prue

Queen's University Belfast

Senior Lecturer in Chronic Illness
School of Nursing and Midwifery

Abstract
When exercise is the drug: can activity levels really be used to treat prostate cancer?

There is sufficient evidence demonstrating the favourable effects of exercise on symptom control and quality of life in prostate cancer. A gap exists in our knowledge regarding the true efficacy of exercise on hard clinical outcomes i.e. prostate cancer specific mortality and overall survival.

Epidemiological studies do however suggest that exercise may improve survival given the lower mortality rate seen in more active men post prostate cancer treatment, this has yet to be definitely demonstrated in a clinical trial.

The INTERVAL study, a global study of exercise in advanced prostate cancer is currently underway to attempt to answer this question. Although exercise is not a pharmacologic intervention, when prescribed appropriately, it does confer drug like effects that cause changes to the individual’s homeostasis, either as a targeted therapy (exerting its own anticancer effects independent of other therapies) or as a synergistic medicine (increasing effectiveness of therapies applied concurrently).

It is necessary to use an ‘exercise as medicine’ approach, individually prescribing and designing the intervention utilising the principles of training (individualised, specificity, overload, rest and recovery) to improve survival via inflammatory, hormonal, and/or energy metabolism pathways. There are however issues that need to be addressed e.g. the cost of conducting complex intervention studies, the practicality of delivering prescribed exercise in the current NHS setting, and of course, how we get people to change their behaviour and actually move more.

3D mammosphere culture of breast epithelial cell line MCF10A.

Courtesy of Dr. Emer Bourke, NUI Galway

Phospho-Akt expression and localisation

Mediated by VEGF in A549 lung cancer cells. Visualised by high content image analysis.

Courtesy of Dr Martin Barr, Clinical Scientist & Adjunct Assistant Professor, St James’s Hospital & Trinity College Dublin

Metaphase chromosome spread of Jurkat T-lymphoma cells

Courtesy of Rebecca Gorry, PhD Student, Mc Gee Lab, UCD School of Biomolecular & Biomedical Science, Conway Institute, UCD

Apoptosis assessment of SKMES-1 lung cancer cells

Using a multiparameter apoptosis staining kit, showing cell nuclei (blue), actin (green) and mitochondrial activity (orange).

Courtesy of Dr Martin Barr, Clinical Scientist & Adjunct Assistant Professor, St James’s Hospital & Trinity College Dublin

HeLa Cells

Courtesy of Rebecca Gorry, PhD Student, Mc Gee Lab, UCD School of Biomolecular & Biomedical Science, Conway Institute, UCD

IACR & EACR Joint Conference 2020

26 — 28 February 2020 at Galway Bay Hotel, Galway

Mitotic Chronic Myelogenous Leukaemia K562 Cells

Courtesy of Rebecca Gorry, PhD Student, Mc Gee Lab, UCD School of Biomolecular & Biomedical Science, Conway Institute, UCD

Cell to Cell Tweeting

Via nanoparticles (red) in Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC)

Courtesy of Sinéad Lindsay, UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, University College Dublin (UCD) Ireland.

Confocal Microscopy Analysis

Of phospho-Akt expression in H460 lung cancer cells in response to hypoxia (0.5% O2).

Courtesy of Dr Martin Barr, Clinical Scientist & Adjunct Assistant Professor, St James’s Hospital & Trinity College Dublin

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Education Grant 2020

The Irish Association for Cancer Research supported five Educational Grants in 2020. These were made available to postgraduate PhD researchers who had been affected by the Covid-19
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