Short-term preoperative high-intensity interval training does not improve fitness of colorectal cancer patients.
BACKGROUND: Preoperative cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients has been shown to affect postoperative outcomes. The aim of this study was to test the feasibility of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for improving fitness in preoperative CRC patients within the 31-day cancer waiting time targets imposed in the UK. METHODS: Eighteen CRC patients (13 males, mean age: 67 years (range: 52-77 years) participated in supervised HIIT on cycle ergometers 3 or 4 times each week prior to surgery. Exercise intensity during 5x1-minute HIIT intervals (interspersed with 90-seconds recovery) was 100-120% maximum wattage achieved at a baseline cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET). CPET before and after HIIT was used to assess CRF. RESULTS: Patients completed a mean of 8 HIIT sessions (range 6-14) over 19 days (SD 7). There was no significant increase in VO2 peak (23.9±7.0 vs. 24.2±7.8 ml/kg/min (mean±SD), p=0.58) or anaerobic threshold (AT: 14.0±3.4 vs. 14.5±4.5 ml/kg/min, p=0.50) after HIIT. There was a significant reduction in resting systolic blood pressure (152±19 vs. 142±19 mmHg, p=0.0005) and heart rate at submaximal exercise intensities after HIIT. CONCLUSIONS: Our pragmatic HIIT exercise protocol did not improve the preoperative fitness of CRC patients within the 31-day window available in the UK to meet cancer surgical waiting time targets.
Williams, John P