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Preoperative Exercise Training Decreases Complications of Minimally Invasive Lung Cancer Surgery- A Randomized Controlled Trial.

OBJECTIVE: Limited evidence exists regarding the efficacy of preoperative exercise (PE) in reducing short-term complications after minimally invasive surgery in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This study aims to investigate the impact of PE on short-term complications following minimally invasive lung resection.

METHODS: In this prospective, open-label, randomized (1:1) controlled trial at Xiangya Hospital, China (Sep 2020-Feb 2022), patients were randomly assigned to a PE group with 16-day alternate supervised exercise or a control. The primary outcome assessed was short-term postoperative complications, with a follow-up period of 30 days post-surgery.

RESULTS: A total of 124 patients were recruited (PE group n=62; control n=62). Finally, 101 patients (PE group; n=51 and control; n=50) with a median age of 56 years (interquartile range, 50-62 years) completed the study. Compared with the control, the PE group showed fewer postoperative complications (PE:3/51 vs. Control 10/50; OR [95% CI], 0.17 [0.04 to 0.86], P=0.03) and shorter hospital stays (mean difference [95% CI], -2 [-3 to -1], P=0.01). PE significantly improved depression, stress, functional capacity, and quality of life (all P<0.05) before surgery. Furthermore, PE demonstrated a significantly lower minimum blood pressure during surgery, lower increases body temperature on day 2 after surgery, neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, and neutrophil count after surgery (all P<0.05). Exploratory research on lung tissue RNA sequencing (5 in each group) showed downregulation of the tumor necrosis factor signaling pathway in the PE group compared with control.

CONCLUSIONS: Preoperative exercise training decreased short-term postoperative complications in patients with NSCLC.

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