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Acute effect of high-intensity interval aerobic exercise on serum myokine levels and resulting tumour-suppressive effect in trained patients with advanced prostate cancer



Although skeletal muscle releases cytokines called myokines during exercise, the kinetics of the acute myokine response to exercise (exercise-induced circulatory myokine level alteration) is unknown in patients with advanced prostate cancer. We measured myokine levels in serum obtained from patients with metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) before and after exercise and assessed the growth-suppressive effect of the serum by applying it to a PCa cell line.


Nine patients with mCRPC (age = 67.8 ± 10.1 years, time since mCRPC diagnosis 36.2 ± 22.5 months) undertook 34 min of a high-intensity interval exercise session on a cycle ergometer. Blood was collected immediately pre, post and 30 min post. Serum levels of secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC), oncostatin M (OSM), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-15 (IL-15), decorin, irisin, and IGF-1 were determined. Growth of the androgen-independent PCa cell line DU-145 exposed to serum collected at three points was measured.


There was a significant elevation of SPARC (19.9%, P = 0.048), OSM (11.5%, P = 0.001), IL-6 (10.2%, P = 0.02) and IL-15 (7.8%, P = 0.023) in serum collected immediately after exercise compared to baseline, returning to baseline after 30 min rest. A significant reduction in DU-145 Cell growth and the Cell Index area under the curve at 72 h incubation was observed with the presence of serum obtained immediately post-exercise (Cell Index at 72 h: 16.9%, P < 0.001; area under the curve: 15.2%, P < 0.001) and with the presence of serum obtained 30 min post-exercise compared to baseline (Cell Index at 72 h: 6.5%; area under the curve: 8.8%, P < 0.001).


This study provides preliminary evidence for an acute exercise-induced myokine response and tumour growth suppression in serum after a bout of high-intensity interval exercise in patients with advanced PCa.

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Fig. 1: Exercise and blood sample timing.
Fig. 2: Exercise intensity changes during high-intensity interval aerobic exercise.
Fig. 3: Serum myokine levels.
Fig. 4: Real-time cell growth analysis.

Data availability

The data are available for bona fide researchers who request it from the authors.


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The authors thank Harry Perkins Institute, Nedlands, WA, Australia, for providing prostate cancer cell line DU145.


This work was funded by the Movember Foundation. National Health and Medical Research Council Centre of Research Excellence (NHMRC-CRE; APP1116334) funded the additional materials involving serum analysis and cell work through Centre for Research Excellence in Prostate Cancer Survivorship. J-SK is supported by the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Prostate Cancer Survivorship Scholarship.

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Authors and Affiliations



J-SK and RU Newton had full access to all the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and accuracy of the data analysis. J-SK, RUN, DRT and DAG conceptualised the study. J-SK and RUN designed the study. RUN, J-SK, DAG and NHH collected the clinical information, body composition and fasting blood samples. NHH and SAK supervised and directed the overall study’s implementation, data collection, and data monitoring. J-SK analysed the data. J-SK and RUN were responsible for the drafting of the paper. RUN, DRT, DAG, TDC, ADR, EG, CJC, SAK and FS provided administrative, technical, intellectual and material support. J-SK, RUN, DRT, DAG, TC, ADR, NHH, ESG, CJR, SAK and FS reviewed and edited the paper prior to submission.

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Correspondence to Robert U. Newton.

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The authors declare no competing interests. Sponsors had no role in the design of the study; the collection, analysis, and interpretation of the data; the writing of the paper; and the decision to submit the paper for publication.

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The study was conducted according to the guidelines of the Declaration of Helsinki and approved by the Edith Cowan University Human Research Ethics Committee (ID: 13236 NEWTON). Informed consent was obtained from all subjects involved in the study prior to inclusion.

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Kim, JS., Taaffe, D.R., Galvão, D.A. et al. Acute effect of high-intensity interval aerobic exercise on serum myokine levels and resulting tumour-suppressive effect in trained patients with advanced prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis (2022).

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