Advanced stage lung cancer patients who receive physical exercise and psycho-social interventions show improved functional capacity, which may be linked to quality of life benefits, suggests study. The study findings were presented at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) 18th World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) in Yokohama, Japan.
Dr. Quist of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and his team recognized the importance of identifying key issues for advanced lung cancer patients in assessing their quality of life. Previous studies have shown that these patients experience a decline in functional capacity after they are diagnosed and during treatment. While many medical professionals believe relaxing and resting is the best intervention for advanced lung cancer patients, the researchers set out to determine if exercise interventions would lead to increased functional capacity along with improved quality of life.
The researchers randomized 218 eligible adult patients with advanced stage lung cancer who were undergoing chemotherapy into two study groups. The control group received standard care, while the intervention group underwent a 12-week physical and psycho-social intervention, which included cardiovascular and strength training. Aerobic capacity, functional capacity and quality of life were measured at baseline and at 12 weeks.
"Improving or maintaining functional capacity means being able to take on activities of daily living and not burdening caregivers, which is what the majority of patients fear," said Dr. Quist. "In this way, being as active as possible for as long as possible can reduce the potential burden and help patients experience a better quality of life."