A study looking at a rehabilitation programme for people having lung cancer surgery

Cancer type:

Lung cancer
Non small cell lung cancer
Small cell lung cancer





This study is comparing a rehabilitation programme with standard care for people having surgery to remove lung cancer.

More about this trial

If you have lung cancer that is diagnosed at an early stage, you may have surgery to remove it. The aim of the surgery is to cure the cancer. But there is a risk of complications after surgery and it takes time to feel better and to get back to your normal level of activity. Getting back to normal can be called rehabilitation Open a glossary item.

Being as fit as possible before your operation may reduce the risk of complications and help you to recover more quickly. In this study, researchers are looking at a rehabilitation programme. The programme is in the form of face to face classes or by an App on a mobile device that can be completed at home. It includes exercise, education and guidance on what you eat and help to stop smoking. They will compare this with the normal care people have before and after surgery to remove lung cancer.

The aims of the study are to see if a rehabilitation programme can

  • Reduce the amount of time you stay in hospital and the risk of complications
  • Improve your quality of life during this time

Who can enter

You can enter this trial if you are over 18 and are going to have surgery to remove lung cancer at Heartlands Hospital Birmingham. You may also be asked to take part if your doctors think you might need surgery but are not sure yet. Taking part in this study does not delay surgery if you do need to have it.

Trial design

The study will recruit more than 1,200 people over a period of 9 years.

  • 425 people will go through the rehabilitation programme
  • 850 people will have standard care before and after surgery – these people make up the control group Open a glossary item

The rehabilitation programme involves

  • An exercise programme designed for you that involves sessions in the physiotherapy gym or using an app on a smart device, such as an ipad, in your own home before and after surgery
  • Being given information about your disease and treatment
  • An assessment of what you eat and guidance on changing your diet if needed
  • Help to stop smoking if you are a smoker

Everybody will be asked to fill out a questionnaire at the beginning of the study and again after surgery. The questionnaire will ask about how you have been feeling. This is called a quality of life study. People on the rehabilitation programme will also fill out other questionnaires before surgery, then 5 weeks and 6 months afterwards. These will ask about how active they are and how motivated they feel.

Hospital visits

Everybody taking part has an initial meeting with the study team. At this meeting, you will do a 6 minute walking test and have tests to measure how well your lungs are working (lung function tests Open a glossary item). The study team will ask you about what you eat and whether you smoke.

People in the control group see the study team again after their surgery and have the same tests they had at the first meeting.

People on the rehabilitation programme go to the physiotherapy gym for up to 2 hours a week. This will start before surgery and will carry on for 6 weeks afterwards. The study team will then follow their progress for up to 6 months.

Everybody taking part will also have regular follow up appointments with their hospital consultant and they will be given a DVD. This contains information about their surgery, education about their lungs and exercises to do at home before and after the operation.

Side effects

If you take part in the rehabilitation programme, you may feel aches and pains or tiredness after exercising.



Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Professor Babu Naidu

Supported by

Health Foundation
Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Charlie took part in a trial to try new treatments

A picture of Charlie

“I think it’s really important that people keep signing up to these type of trials to push research forward.”

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