ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR QUALITY CARE: CONCLUSION: Taken together, the information presented in this paper provides a comprehensive description of the essential requirements for establishing a high-quality OG cancer service. The ERQCC expert group is aware that it is not possible to propose a 'one size fits all' system for all countries, but urges that access to multidisciplinary units or centres must be guaranteed for all those with OG cancer.
Background Prehabilitation is thought to reduce post-operative respiratory complications by optimising fitness before surgery. This prospective, single-centre study aimed to establish the effect of pre-operative exercise on cardiorespiratory fitness in oesophageal cancer patients and characterise the effect of adherence and weekly physical activity on response to prehabilitation. Methods Patients received a personalised, home-based pre-operative exercise programme and self-reported their adherence each week. Cardiorespiratory fitness (pVO 2 max and O 2 pulse) was assessed at diagnosis, following completion of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) and immediately before surgery. Study outcomes included changes in fitness and post-operative pneumonia. Results Sixty-seven patients with oesophageal cancer underwent prehabilitation followed by surgery between January 2016 and December 2018. Fitness was preserved during NAC and then increased prior to surgery (pV0 2 max Δ = +2.6 ml min −1 , 95% CI 1.2-4.0 p = 0.001; O 2 pulse Δ = +1.4 ml beat −1 95% CI 0.5-2.3 p = 0.001). Patients with higher baseline fitness completed more physical activity. Regression analyses found adherence was associated with improvement in fitness immediately before surgery (p = 0.048), and the amount of physical activity completed was associated with the risk of post-operative pneumonia (p = 0.035). Conclusion Pre-operative exercise can maintain cardiorespiratory fitness during NAC and facilitate an increase in fitness before surgery. Greater exercise volumes were associated with a lower risk of post-operative pneumonia, highlighting the importance progressing exercise programmes throughout prehabilitation. Patients with high baseline fitness completed more physical activity and may require less supervision to reach their exercise goals. Further research is needed to explore stratified approaches to prehabilitation.
Patients undergoing oesophageal cancer surgery are often frail with a high risk of post-operative complications. Prehabilitation has been shown to reduce post-operative complications in specific patient populations but evidence in oesophageal cancer patients is inconclusive.
Between January 2016 and April 2019, all patients with resectable oesophageal cancer who underwent curative treatment at a specialist tertiary centre participated in a personalised, home-based, multimodal prehabilitation programme. Post-operative complications and hospital stay in this group were compared to a control sample. Propensity score matching was used to control for differences in baseline characteristics.
Seventy-two patients who completed prehabilitation and 39 control patients were studied; following propensity score matching, there were 38 subjects in each group. In comparison to matched controls, patients in the prehabilitation group had a lower incidence of post-operative pneumonia (prehabilitation = 26%; control = 66%; p = 0.001) and a shorter length of stay (prehabilitation = median 10 days, IQR 8–17 days; control = median 13 days, IQR 11–20 days; p = 0.018). On multivariate regression analysis, participation in prehabilitation was associated with a 77% lower incidence of post-operative pneumonia (OR 0.23, 95% CI 0.09 to 0.55 p = 0.001). There was no significant difference in the incidence of overall complications or severe complications.
Prehabilitation was associated with a lower incidence of post-operative pneumonia and shorter hospital length of stay following oesophagectomy. This model of home based, personalised, and supervised prehabilitation is effective and relevant to centralised cancer services.
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