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A Pilot Study of Early Outpatient Pulmonary Rehabilitation Following Thoracic Surgery for Lung Cancer

18 Years
Open (Enrolling)
Lung Cancer, Lobectomy, Pulmonary Rehabilitation

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Trial Information

A Pilot Study of Early Outpatient Pulmonary Rehabilitation Following Thoracic Surgery for Lung Cancer

The research question is to investigate

- whether patients who have undergone curative surgical resection for lung cancer benefit
from 8 weeks of early outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation (started within 2 weeks of
hospital discharge).

- to identify potential barriers to this approach

Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is the most effective non-pharmacological treatment for
patients with chronic respiratory diseases, especially COPD. Many patients with lung cancer
have co-existing smoking-related lung disorders such as COPD. To date there have been no
randomised controlled trials of PR in post-resection lung cancer survivors. However there is
indirect evidence that PR may be of benefit in this patient cohort. Cesario et al
(2007)reported a 32% improvement in exercise capacity with in-patient PR, and Spruit et al
(2009) demonstrated a 43% improvement in six minute walk distance following an 8-week
in-patient PR programme. However, both studies had small numbers, and no randomised control
group. Furthermore, inpatient PR is not an economically justifiable intervention in the NHS
where emphasis is on self-management and ambulatory care.

Inclusion Criteria:

- All patients undergoing lung cancer surgery with curative intent.

Exclusion Criteria:

- Unstable cardiovascular disease Severe musculo-skeletal problems that would limit
exercise training(neuromuscular disorders, severe joint arthritis of lower limbs)
Severe peripheral vascular disease Unable to walk 10 metres unaided Patients unable
to give informed consent Recent (within 3 months of completing treatment) or
untreated pulmonary TB, Untreated/uncontrolled diabetes or epilepsy Recent or
recurrent untreated spontaneous pneumothorax

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment

Outcome Measure:

Six minute walk test to assess exercise tolerance

Outcome Time Frame:

Within 3 month of discharge from surgery

Safety Issue:


Principal Investigator

Sarah Elkin, FRCP

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:

Imperial College Healthcare Trust


United Kingdom: National Health Service

Study ID:




Start Date:

October 2010

Completion Date:

November 2011

Related Keywords:

  • Lung Cancer
  • Lobectomy
  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation
  • Lung Neoplasms