Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

European Journal of Cancer Care


Wiley / Hindawi


Exercise Medicine Research Institute / School of Medical and Health Sciences




Luo, H., Galvão, D. A., Newton, R. U., Tang, C. I., Spry, N., & Taaffe, D. R. (2023). Multimodal exercise in older patients with advanced pancreatic cancer undergoing first-line chemotherapy: A case series examining feasibility and preliminary efficacy. European Journal of Cancer Care, 2023, article 1179848.


Purpose. Exercise is emerging as an adjunct therapy to cancer treatment; however, its role in older patients with advanced pancreatic cancer undergoing first-line chemotherapy is unclear. The aim of this study was to primarily provide evidence on feasibility with an exploratory examination of the initial efficacy of exercise in this clinical setting.

Materials and Methods. Six patients aged 60–75 years with de novo or recurrent advanced pancreatic cancer undergoing first-line chemotherapy consented to participate in twice-weekly exercise that included resistance and aerobic training and boxing-related activities for up to 12 weeks. Patients were monitored for attendance, adherence, and adverse events. Body composition, muscle strength, functional ability, patient-reported outcome measures, and patient-reported experience measures were assessed at baseline and/or postintervention.

Results. Of the 6 patients, 1 withdrew after baseline testing and 5 attended 42%–95% of planned sessions and adhered to 28%–83% of the prescribed exercise. There were no serious exercise-emergent adverse events. All 5 patients increased or maintained lean mass (0.1%–4.4%) and 4 reduced fat mass (−0.4%–−8.6%). Improvements were observed in 4 or all 5 patients for muscle strength (7.1%–75%), 5 times sit-to-stand (1.3%–21.4%), 6-m backward walk (16.5%–35.8%), and patient-reported outcomes. Furthermore, all patients perceived exercise as very helpful in managing their cancer and expressed a strong willingness to continue exercise in the future.

Conclusion. A multimodal exercise program appears feasible with potential physical and psychological benefits for older patients with advanced pancreatic cancer undergoing first-line chemotherapy. Further research including a larger sample size is warranted.



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.