Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Wearables Boost Activity in Prostate Cancer Survivors

Key clinical point: Cancer survivors who used wearable fitness trackers showed increased physical activity levels.

Major finding: The review included eight randomized controlled trials, one pre-post-test trial, and four qualitative studies that showed increased activity associated with wearable devices for cancer survivors. This finding supports the need for research to develop specific interventions involving these devices, according to the investigators.

Study details: The data come from a review of 13 eligible studies involving breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer.

Disclosures: The researchers had no financial conflicts to disclose.


Fatigue and weight gain are significant challenges for many undergoing treatment, or having completed treatment, for many cancers (including prostate cancer). Exercise has been demonstrated to be effective in alleviating adverse effects in patients with many types of cancer, including prostate cancer. However, more effective strategies to aid patients in starting and maintaining exercise regimens are needed. The advent of the use of wearable technology (such as Fitbit or similar devices) may be useful. In the accompanying review, 2 of the 13 included studies were focused on patients with prostate cancer. While the studies were small, feasibility for use of this technology was demonstrated over a short period of time. Much larger randomized studies are needed to demonstrate whether this technology is beneficial in effecting an improvement in the quality of life for prostate cancer patients and survivors.—Mark A. Klein, MD


Coughlin SS et al. J Cancer Surviv. 2020. doi:10.1007/s11764-020-00855-1.