Maximal cardiopulmonary exercise testing in glioblastoma patients undergoing chemotherapy: assessment of feasibility, safety, and physical fitness status

Jost J, Völker K, Brandt R, Stummer W, Urbschadt S, Ketter R, Wiewrodt D, Wiewordt R,

Research article (journal)


Abstract Purpose Maximal cardiopulmonary exercise testing (max. CPET) provides the most accurate measurement of cardiorespiratory fitness. However, glioblastoma (GBM) patients often undergo less intensive tests, e.g., 6-min walk test or self-rating scales. This study aims to demonstrate feasibility and safety of max. CPET in GBM patients, concurrently evaluating their physical fitness status. Methods Newly diagnosed GBM patients undergoing adjuvant chemotherapy were offered participation in an exercise program. At baseline, max. CPET assessed cardiorespiratory fitness including peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak), peak workload, and physical work capacity (PWC) at 75% of age-adjusted maximal heart rate (HR). Criteria for peak workload were predefined based on threshold values in HR, respiratory quotient, respiratory equivalent, lactate, and rate of perceived effort. Data were compared to normative values. Adverse events were categorized according to standardized international criteria. Further, self-reported exercise data pre- and post-diagnosis were gathered. Results All 36 patients (median-aged 60; 21 men) met the predefined criteria for peak workload. Mean absolute VO2peak was 1750 ± 529 ml/min, peak workload averaged 130 ± 43 W, and mean PWC was 0.99 ± 0.38 W/kg BW, all clinically meaningful lower than age- and sex-predicted normative values (87%, 79%, 90%, resp.). Only once (3%) a minor, transient side effect occurred (post-test dizziness, no intervention needed). Self-reported exercise decreased from 15.8 MET-h/week pre-diagnosis to 7.2 MET-h/week post-diagnosis. Conclusion Max. CPET in this well-defined population proved feasible and safe. GBM patients exhibit reduced cardiorespiratory fitness, indicating the need for tailored exercise to enhance health and quality of life. CPET could be essential in establishing precise exercise guidelines.

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Release year: 2023
Language in which the publication is writtenEnglish
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