Feasibility and preliminary efficacy of progressive resistance exercise training in lung cancer survivors

Document Type

Journal Article


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Exercise and Health Sciences




This article was originally published as: Mcintyre, C. J., Bell, G., Fenton, D., McCargar, L., & Courneya, K. (2012). Feasibility and preliminary efficacy of progressive resistance exercise training in lung cancer survivors. Lung Cancer, 75(1), 126-132.


Lung cancer survivors exhibit poor functional capacity, physical functioning, and quality of life (QoL). Here, we report the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a progressive resistance exercise training (PRET) intervention in post-treatment lung cancer survivors. Seventeen post-treatment lung cancer survivors (10 female), with a mean age of 67 (range 50-85), mean BMI of 25, and diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer (94%) were recruited in Edmonton, Canada between August 2009 and August 2010 to undergo PRET. The primary outcomes focused on feasibility including eligibility and recruitment rate, loss to follow-up, measurement completion, exercise adherence, and program evaluation. Secondary outcomes addressed preliminary efficacy and included changes in muscular strength (1 repetition maximum), muscular endurance (repetitions at 70% of 1 repetition maximum), body composition (DXA scan), physical functioning (6-minute-walk-test, up-and-go, sit-to-stand, arm curls), and patient-reported outcomes including QoL (SF-36, FACT-L), fatigue (FACT-F), dyspnea (MRCD), and patient-rated function (LLFI). Forty of 389 lung cancer survivors were eligible (10%) and 17 of the 40 (43%) were recruited. Over 80% of participants were able to complete all testing; two participants were lost to follow-up, and the median adherence rate was 96% (range: 25-100%). Ratings of testing burden were low (i.e., less than two out of seven for all items), and trial evaluation was high (i.e., greater than six out of seven for all measures). Paired t-tests showed significant increases in muscular strength (p< .001), muscular endurance (p< .001), six-minute walk distance (p< .001), up-and-go time (p< .05), number of arm curls (p< .001), and number of chair stands (p< .001). There were no significant changes in body composition or patient-reported outcomes. PRET is a feasible intervention with potential health benefits for a small proportion of lung cancer survivors in the post-treatment setting.