NNUH research study recruits 500th patient
A research study that is exploring the advantages of exercise before and after bowel cancer surgery has reached a recruitment landmark.
Five hundred bowel cancer patients have joined the PREPARE ABC study – the biggest research trial of its kind in the world – that is being run by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) and Norwich Clinical Trials Unit at the University of East Anglia (UEA).
The study, which opened in 2016 and is running at more than 25 sites across the UK, is looking at the benefits of patients undergoing a home-based or hospital-based exercise programme compared to standard care in the weeks before and after colorectal surgery.
The £2m project, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), is looking to see how a programme of moderate or intense exercise will affect the quality of life of patients one year after their surgery and complication rates for patients 30 days after surgery.
The study aims to involve more than 1,000 patients nationwide.
James Hernon, NNUH consultant in general and colorectal surgery and honorary senior lecturer at UEA’s Norwich Medical School, is Chief Investigator of PREPARE ABC. He said that he hoped that the study will shape future guidelines on exercise before and after cancer surgery.
“To date it is the biggest prehabilitation and rehabilitation cancer study worldwide and it is a big team effort involving our nurses, physiotherapists and the Norwich Clinical Trials Unit.
It is widely regarded that increasing levels of exercise before and after surgery leads to a better quality of life. However, there had been no studies that have been big enough to reliably show exercise makes a difference for these patients. We want it to influence national and international guidelines on the prehabilitation and rehabilitation of patients who are receiving surgery.
We won’t know the results until a year after the trial finishes. However, we are recruiting patients young and old and with a range of fitness levels. We have received letters of thanks from patients who have enjoyed the interventions and feel very supported.”
A third of patients who take part in PREPARE ABC receive no support with exercise before or after surgery, another third have a home-based intervention with a programme of exercise and strengthening and the final third will take part in a hospital-based exercise routine. Patients on the exercise programmes also receive psychological support and the rehabilitation exercises usually start six weeks after surgery.
For more information about the study, visit http://www.uea.ac.uk/prepare-abc