A walk-and-eat intervention improves outcomes for patients with esophageal cancer undergoing neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy

Yu Juan Xu, Jason Chia Hsien Cheng, Jang Ming Lee, Pei Ming Huang, Guan-Hua Huang, Cheryl Chia Hui Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background Preserving functional walking capacity and nutritional status is important for patients with esophageal cancer, but no effective intervention is available, particularly during active treatment. Methods. This pilot randomized controlled trial tested the effects of a walk-and-eat intervention for patients with esophageal cancer undergoing neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy. Participants with locally advanced esophageal cancer stage IIB or higher (n = 59) were randomly assigned to receive the walk-and-eat intervention (n = 30; nurse-supervised walking three times per week and weekly nutritional advice) or usual care (n = 29; control group) during 4–5 weeks of chemoradiotherapy. Primary endpoints were changes in distance on the 6-minute walk test, hand-grip strength, lean muscle mass, and body weight between initiation and completion of intervention. Results. Participants (mean age: 59.6 years) were mostly male (92.9%) with squamous cell carcinoma (96.4%). During chemoradiotherapy, participants who received the walk-and-eat intervention had 100-m less decline than controls in walk distance (adjusted p = .012), 3-kg less decrease in hand-grip strength (adjusted p = .002), and 2.7-kg less reduction in body weight (adjusted p < .001), regardless of age. The intervention group also had significantly lower rates of need for intravenous nutritional support and wheelchair use. Conclusion. The nurse-led walk-and-eat intervention is feasible and effective to preserve functional walking capacity and nutritional status for patients with esophageal cancer undergoing neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1216-1222
Number of pages7
JournalOncologist
Volume20
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 4 Sep 2015

Keywords

  • Esophageal cancer
  • Exercise
  • Neoadjuvant therapy
  • Nutrition
  • Randomized controlled trial

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