Exercise During and After Neoadjuvant Rectal Cancer Treatment

Official Title

A Phase II Randomized Controlled Trial of Aerobic Exercise in Rectal Cancer Patients During and After Neoadjuvant Chemoradiotherapy


This study is designed to investigate if aerobic exercise during and after neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (NACRT) can improve outcomes for rectal cancer patients.

Trial Description

Primary Outcome:

  • Change in Cardiorespiratory fitness
Secondary Outcome:
  • Cardiorespiratory fitness
  • Functional fitness
  • Generic quality of life
  • Disease specific quality of life
  • Symptom burden
  • Exercise motivation
  • Eligibility rate
  • Recruitment rate
  • Exercise adherence rate
  • Follow-up assessment rate
  • Safety: Adverse event rate
The EXERT trial is a single-centre, prospective, two-armed, phase II randomized controlled trial designed to test the preliminary efficacy of exercise training in this clinical setting and to further evaluate its feasibility and safety. Participants will be 60 rectal cancer patients scheduled to receive long-course NACRT followed by total mesorectal excision. Participants will be randomly assigned to exercise training or usual care. Participants in the exercise training group will be asked to complete three supervised, high-intensity interval training sessions/week during NACRT and ≥ 150 min/week of unsupervised, moderate-to-vigorous-intensity, continuous exercise training after NACRT prior to surgery. Participants in the usual care group will be asked not to increase their exercise from baseline. Assessments will be completed pre NACRT, post NACRT, and pre surgery. The primary endpoint will be cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2 peak) at the post-NACRT time point assessed by a graded exercise test. Secondary endpoints will include functional fitness, quality of life, and symptom management. Exploratory clinical endpoints will include treatment toxicities, treatment completion, treatment response, and surgical complications.

View this trial on ClinicalTrials.gov

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Canadian Cancer Society

These resources are provided in partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society