Is progressive resistance training (PRT) feasible during concomitant chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC)?
PRT in a clinical setting is safe during CCRT for head and neck cancer, and is associated with high patient satisfaction.
Explore this issue:August 2017
Background: Patients with HNSCC undergoing CCRT frequently experience weight loss, especially loss of lean body mass (LBM), and reduced functional performance. Some data indicate that chemotherapy side effects may be ameliorated by exercise. In patients with head and neck cancer, exercise trials studying training intervention during radiotherapy or CCRT are sparse, but have been gaining ground. The trials all differ in type of intervention, intensity, and frequency, as well as outcome measures, but across these studies, changes in muscle strength, mobility, physical activity, fatigue, diet, and quality of life endpoints in favor of the training intervention group are reported.
Resistance training is an efficient way of maintaining or increasing muscle mass, and the authors of this study wanted to test the feasibility of a 12-week PRT program, as well as the entire study logistics with scans, questionnaires, and controls in their own clinic before launching a randomized trial. Difference in LBM was the primary outcome measure.