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Impact of oesophagectomy on physical fitness and health-related quality of life in patients with oesophageal cancer

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  • Conflict of interest: Authors have no financial relationship with the organisation that sponsored the research and have full control of all primary data.

Correspondence address: Noriatsu Tatematsu, Department of Human Health Sciences, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kawahara-cho Shogoin Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan (e-mail: noriatsu.t@gmail.com).

Impact of oesophagectomy on physical fitness and health-related quality of life in patients with oesophageal cancer

Although several studies have reported the impact of oesophagectomy on health-related quality of life (HRQOL), none has objectively assessed its impact on physical fitness. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of oesophagectomy on physical fitness and HRQOL in patients with oesophageal cancer. In this prospective study, we investigated 30 consecutive patients with newly diagnosed resectable oesophageal cancer who were scheduled to receive either neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgery or surgery alone. The primary end-points were change from baseline in two measures of physical fitness (knee-extensor muscle strength and 6-min walking distance) after oesophagectomy. The secondary end-point was change from baseline in HRQOL measured with the European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Core Questionnaire with 30 items (EORTC QLQ-C30). Physical fitness was significantly lower after oesophagectomy than before oesophagectomy (P < 0.001). With regard to HRQOL, there was a significant pre- to post-oesophagectomy change in most of the scales. In the multiple regression analysis, the change in 6-min walking distance was the only significant variable affecting the change in physical functional score on the EORTC QLQ-C30 (P = 0.032). In conclusion, oesophagectomy adversely affects physical fitness and HRQOL in patients with oesophageal cancer. Six-minute walking distance may be a good indicator of HRQOL shortly after oesophagectomy.

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