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Impact of preoperative exercise therapy on surgical outcomes in lung cancer patients with or without COPD: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Authors Li X, Li S, Yan S, Wang Y, Wang X, Sihoe ADL, Yang Y, Wu N

Received 4 September 2018

Accepted for publication 21 December 2018

Published 20 February 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 1765—1777

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CMAR.S186432

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Ms Justinn Cochran

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Rituraj Purohit


Xiang Li,1,* Shaolei Li,1,* Shi Yan,1 Yaqi Wang,1 Xing Wang,1 Alan DL Sihoe,2 Yue Yang,1 Nan Wu1

1Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Translational Research (Ministry of Education), Department of Thoracic Surgery II, Peking University Cancer Hospital and Institute, Beijing, China; 2Department of Surgery, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Objectives: This meta-analysis aimed to demonstrate the impact of preoperative exercise therapy on surgical outcomes in patients with lung cancer and COPD. Pulmonary function and muscle capacity were investigated to explore their potential links with outcome improvements after exercise.
Methods: Articles were searched from PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library with criteria of lung cancer patients with or without COPD, undergoing resection, and receiving preoperative exercise training. Key outcomes were analyzed using meta-analysis.
Results: Seven studies containing 404 participants were included. Patients receiving preoperative exercise training had a lower incidence of postoperative pulmonary complications (PPCs; OR 0.44, 95% CI 0.27–0.71) and shorter length of hospital stay (standardized mean difference –4.23 days, 95% CI –6.14 to –2.32 days). Exceptionally, pneumonia incidence remained unchanged. Patients with COPD could not obviously benefit from exercise training to reduce PPCs (OR 0.44, 95% CI 0.18–1.08), but still might achieve faster recovery. No significant difference in pulmonary function was observed between the two groups. However, 6MWD and VO2 peak were significantly improved after exercise training.
Conclusion: Preoperative exercise training may reduce PPCs for lung cancer patients. However, for patients with COPD undergoing lung cancer resection, the role of exercise is uncertain, due to limited data, which calls for more prospective trials on this topic. Rehabilitation exercise strengthens muscle capacity, but does not improve impaired pulmonary function, which emphasizes the possible mechanism of the protocol design.

Keywords: preoperative exercise, lung cancer, COPD, postoperative pulmonary complications, 6MWD, VO2 peak


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