Prehabilitation Exercise Intervention Studied in Esophageal Cancer

Structured prehabilitation exercise during neoadjuvant chemotherapy and surgery may enhance treatment response

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WEDNESDAY, Feb. 2, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with esophageal cancer, a structured prehabilitation exercise intervention during neoadjuvant chemotherapy and surgery may enhance tumor regression and downstaging in response to treatment, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Janine Zylstra, Ph.D., from the Guy's and St. Thomas' Hospitals National Health Service Trust in London, and colleagues conducted a prospective nonrandomized trial to compare a structured prehabilitation exercise intervention during neoadjuvant chemotherapy and surgery with conventional best practice for patients with esophageal cancer. The intervention and control groups included 21 and 19 patients, respectively.

The researchers found that the rates of tumor regression were higher in the intervention group (Mandard TRG 1 to 3 intervention, 75 versus 36.8 percent; odds ratio, 6.57 in adjusted analyses). Improvements were also seen for the intervention versus control group in combined tumor and node downstaging (42.9 versus 15.8 percent) and fat-free mass index (17.8 versus 18.7 kg/m2 compared with 16.3 versus 14.7 kg/m2).

"Numerous biochemical and computed tomography-based parameters differed between the Intervention and control groups, suggesting reduced inflammation, improved immune function, and improved body composition in the intervention group," the authors write. "These may represent some of the potential mechanisms by which the chemotherapy response may have been enhanced."

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