Effects of exercise training on exercise capacity in patients with non-small cell lung cancer receiving targeted therapy

Support Care Cancer. 2012 Dec;20(12):3169-77. doi: 10.1007/s00520-012-1452-5. Epub 2012 Apr 14.


Purpose: Peak oxygen consumption (VO(2peak)) is an important predictive factor for long-term prognosis in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The purpose of this study was to investigate whether 8 weeks of exercise training improves exercise capacity, as assessed by VO(2peak), and other related factors in patients with NSCLC receiving targeted therapy.

Methods: A total of 24 participants with adenocarcinoma were randomly assigned to either the control group (n = 11) or the exercise group (n = 13). Subjects in the exercise group participated in individualized, high-intensity aerobic interval training of exercise. The outcome measures assessed at baseline and after 8 weeks were as follows: VO(2peak) and the percentage of predicted VO(2peak) (%predVO(2peak)), muscle strength and endurance of the right quadriceps, muscle oxygenation during exercise, insulin resistance as calculated by the homeostasis model, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and quality of life (QoL) questionnaire inventory.

Results: No exercise-related adverse events were reported. After exercise training, VO(2peak) and %predVO(2peak) increased by 1.6 mL kg(-1) min(-1) and 5.3% (p < 0.005), respectively; these changes were associated with improvements in circulatory, respiratory, and muscular functions at peak exercise (all p = 0.001). The exercise group also had less dyspnea (p = 0.01) and favorably lower fatigue (p = 0.05) than baseline.

Conclusions: Patients with NSCLC receiving targeted therapy have quite a low exercise capacity, even with a relatively high QoL. Exercise training appears to improve exercise capacity and alleviate some cancer-related symptoms.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / complications
  • Adenocarcinoma / rehabilitation*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Dyspnea / etiology
  • Dyspnea / rehabilitation
  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Exercise Tolerance*
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Fatigue / rehabilitation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Lung Neoplasms / complications
  • Lung Neoplasms / rehabilitation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Strength
  • Oxygen Consumption*
  • Physical Endurance
  • Prognosis
  • Quadriceps Muscle
  • Quality of Life
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome


  • C-Reactive Protein