Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.
A trial looking at a planned exercise programme after surgery for non small cell lung cancer (RAPS)
This trial looked at a planned exercise programme, to see if it could improve recovery after surgery for non small cell lung cancer.
If you have non small cell lung cancer, you may have surgery to remove it with the aim of curing the cancer. But after surgery people often have pain, tiredness and shortness of breath. It takes some time to feel better and get back to your normal level of activity. Doctors call this rehabilitation.
The researchers in this trial wanted to see if a planned programme of regular exercise that gradually increased could help people to recover more quickly.
The aim of this trial was to find out if an exercise programme started in hospital, and continued with support at home, could help to increase the levels of people’s activity 4 weeks after surgery.
Summary of results
The trial team found that an exercise programme did not help with rehabilitation after surgery for non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
131 people took part in this trial. After surgery,
- Half had usual care, including routine physiotherapy treatments and some gentle exercises
- Half started an exercise programme at the hospital and continued at home for 4 weeks
The daily exercise programme consisted of walking and up to 30 minutes of cycling. The researchers looked at people’s levels of physical activity 4 weeks after surgery. They found no difference between the 2 groups. They also found that people in both groups could comfortably do the exercise they were doing before surgery.
The trial team concluded that an exercise programme did not help with rehabilitation after surgery for non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). But it did find that people in the trial who had certain lung problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease showed a significant improvement in their quality of life if they took part in the exercise programme. More trials need to be done to find out more about the benefits of the programme and to see if they continue long term for this group of people.
We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Dr Rachel Garrod
British Lung Foundation
Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer