Prehabilitation has been shown to increase survival rates after cancer operations. When neoadjuvant treatments are combined with prehabilitation, patients may be able to improve their functional status before the start of local consolidation, which is an important step in the process of fighting cancer. Patients with non-small-cell lung cancer who received both prehabilitation and neoadjuvant therapy at the same time were the focus of this proof-of-concept study. Between 2015 and 2021, researchers retrospectively studied all patients who got neoadjuvant treatment for non-small-cell lung cancer before undergoing surgery with the hope of curing their disease. Patients were vetted for admission to the prehabilitation program. Physical capacity, nutritional state, and the presence of anxiety and depression were all evaluated as part of the screening process.
In total, they were able to track down 141 people who had had neoadjuvant treatment. About 20 people were chosen to participate in the prehabilitation program. Only 2 of the patients who started the fitness regimen finished it (1 surgical intervention too soon, 1 drop-out after the first session, and 2 patients were deemed fit without intervention). After surgery, the typical patient stayed in the hospital for only 3 days (range 1-18). Notwithstanding neoadjuvant therapy, patients improved their 6-minute walk distance by a mean of 33 meters (±50, P=.04). Following participation in the prehabilitation program, participants reported an average increase of 10 points in their functional status as measured by the DASI (±11, P=.03), as well as a decrease of 1.5 points in their anxiety as measured by the HADS (±1, P=.005).
It is conceivable to perform neoadjuvant prehabilitation therapy, and early findings are promising. In spite of best efforts, achieving optimal results across the board continues to present formidable operational difficulties. Neoadjuvant prehabilitation therapy is an idea deserving of prospective multi-center evaluation, as multimodal techniques for treating lung cancer are becoming essential for good outcomes.