Influence of a Structured Exercise Training on Patients Reported Quality of Life in Colorectal Cancer Patients After Adjuvant Chemotherapy: A Pilot Study

Integr Cancer Ther. Jan-Dec 2020;19:1534735420938458. doi: 10.1177/1534735420938458.


Purpose: Cancer and its treatment strategies can have adverse effects on physical functioning and quality of life. Treatment strategies for better quality of life are still an unresolved issue. Physical activity is a promising treatment strategy that still has to be fully investigated. Methods: The ABCSG C07-EXERCISE study evaluated the feasibility of a 1-year exercise training after adjuvant chemotherapy in colorectal cancer patients. The present report presents the patient-reported outcomes during the exercise training. Fourteen patients of one center filled out the European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ C30) questionnaire at 5 time points after initiating a 1-year exercise training. Results: At baseline, patients scored social functioning, emotional functioning, financial impact, insomnia, and diarrhea much worse than the German general population. After 1 year of a structured exercise training, a large improvement was reported for social functioning; moderate improvements were reported for pain, diarrhea, financial impact, and taste; and a small change for physical and emotional functioning as well as for global quality of life. Conclusions: The present study observed improvements of social, physical, and emotional functioning as well as global quality of life after 1 year of a structured exercise training in patients with locally advanced colorectal cancer after receiving adjuvant chemotherapy. To enhance compliance, sufficient support and different sport facilities should be offered. The positive effect of exercise on patient-reported outcomes, disease-free survival, and overall survival in cancer survivors have to be further investigated in further randomized clinical trials.

Keywords: QLQ C30; colorectal cancer; exercise training; quality of life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires