The Prostate Cancer – Patient Empowerment Program (PC-PEP) is a free six-month home-based mind-body program developed in Canada to improve the physical and mental health and quality of life of people diagnosed with prostate cancer. The program is provided in Aotearoa New Zealand in partnership with the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand.


PC-PEP includes daily emails and videos which teach and encourage:

Aerobic exercise and strength training by videos
– Kegel exercises to improve urinary control
– Stress reduction techniques using biofeedback
– Dietary advice and relationship teaching
– Optional: social support through a mentor and buddy system, and monthly videoconferences with co-participants.


– Have been given a diagnosis of prostate cancer
– Can access daily emails and watch YouTube videos
– Are willing to do 4 online surveys over 2 years

+1 902 473-7727

0800 477 678

NZ LEAD: Peter Dickens, CEO PCFNZ

PC-PEP Principle Coordinator NZ, and Chief Executive Officer of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand.

Peter Dickens is the PC-PEP Principle Coordinator in NZ and CEO of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of NZ

The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCFNZ) is New Zealand’s leading men’s cancer charity, providing support and education to the thousands of New Zealanders affected by the disease every year. Prostate cancer is the number one cancer in Kiwi men, more than 3500 are diagnosed with it every year and more than 650 die from it. With early detection leading to better outcomes it is important that men are aware of the signs of potential disease and also of the screening tests that are available from their doctor. PCFNZ plays a significant role in raising public awareness, advocating for patients, spearheading research and providing comprehensive support services including an online forum, 40+ support groups & networks across the country, welfare grants and an 0800 Helpline [0800 477 678].

Peter Dickens


LEAD: Gabriela Ilie, PhD

Principle Investigator and PC-PEP Program Scientific Lead. Director of Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation Soillse Prostate Cancer Quality of Life Research Lab

Dr. Gabriela Ilie is a Dalhousie Research Medical Foundation (DMRF) Endowed Scientist in Prostate Cancer Quality of Life and an Associate Professor in the Departments of Community Health and Epidemiology, Urology, Radiation Oncology and Psychology, and Neuroscience at Dalhousie University. She is Affiliated Scientist with Nova Scotia Health Authority, Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Center and Scientist with the Beatrice Cancer Research Institute.  She is an Associate Scientist with the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Ontario, and an Adjunct Associate Professor at University of Toronto with the Music and Health Research Collaboratory. Gabriela has initiated and lead the development of the PC-PEP Program with the scientific and clinical teams behind the program.

Gabriela Ilie, PhD, @GabrielaIDr via Twitter.

Rob Rutledge, MD, FRCPC

PC-PEP Co-Investigator and Program Clinical Lead

Dr. Rutledge is a Radiation Oncologist with Nova Scotia Health Authority, and Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Center, in Halifax, Nova Scotia who treats Prostate, Breast, and Peadiatric cancers. His education includes an Undergraduate Math and Computer Science degree, a Certificate in Community Health, Clinical Epidemiology, and a Doctor of Medicine degree, all from University of Toronto. He has completed a Comprehensive Internship in Medicine at Queen’s University, in Kingston, and the Radiation Oncology Residency Program at University of Ottawa. He became involved in Dr. Ilie’s research work and began collaborating with her and her team’s work in 2017.

Cody MacDonald, MSc

PC-PEP Lead International Project Coordinator

Cody is PC-PEP’s International Project Lead Coordinator in the DMRF Soillse Prostate Cancer Quality of Life Research Laboratory. He has been involved in the Soillse Lab since the summer of 2018 as a student volunteer and then from May – August 2019 he held a student Research Assistant Practicum position in the lab, and then a Research Coordinator position within the Lab.  He completed a Bachelor of Science in Medical Sciences degree at Dalhousie University and throughout the course of his studies he became very interested in epidemiology and community health research. For years he has been involved with a non-for profit mental health charity and has long been passionate about improving people’s quality of life.  Originally from Pictou County, Nova Scotia, he is very excited to help coordinate the many exciting research projects being undertaken to improve the quality of life for prostate cancer patients here in the Maritimes. He is a 2nd year MSc student in Community Health and Epidemiology at Dalhousie and Dr. Ilie is his supervisor. In his free time, he loves spending as much time outdoors as possible, cycling around the city, hiking by the ocean, or travelling.

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