University of Dublin, Trinity College RESTORE II for Survivors of Gastrointestinal Cancer

May 23, 2019 | Cancer, Oncology, Rehabilitation, UGI Cancer Survivors

The RESTORE II randomized controlled trial will examine the efficacy of a 12 week multidisciplinary rehabilitation program consisting of supervised and home-based exercise,1:1 dietetic counselling, and group education sessions for survivors of upper gastrointestinal cancer, namely cancers of the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, and liver.  The sponsor has plans for 120 participants.

Curative treatment for upper gastrointestinal (UGI) cancers is associated with numerous side-effects including sarcopenia and nutritional compromise, increasing morbidity, compromising functional capacity and decreasing health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) in survivorship. As survival improves in UGI cancer, there is increasing focus on optimizing survivorship, however research examining rehabilitation programs in this newly-emergent complex clinical cohort is lacking.

The investigators recently designed, implemented, and evaluated the Rehabilitation Strategies following Esophagogastric Cancer (RESTORE) program, a novel multidisciplinary rehabilitation program tailored for esophagogastric cancer survivorship. The feasibility and preliminary efficacy of the RESTORE program was established and there is now recognized need to further examine program efficacy in a definitive trial.

Using a convergent parallel mixed-methods design, RESTORE II, implemented as a 2-armed randomized controlled trial, will examine if multidisciplinary rehabilitation can improve functional capacity and HRQOL in UGI cancer survivors. RESTORE II will prescribe a 12-week program of supervised aerobic and resistance training, self-directed unsupervised exercise, individualized dietetic counselling and multidisciplinary education for patients who are >3 months following esophagectomy, gastrectomy, pancreaticoduodenectomy, or major liver resection. A sample of 60 participants per arm will be recruited to establish a mean increase in functional capacity (cardio-respiratory fitness) of 3.5 ml/kg/min with 90% power, 5% significance and 20% drop-out.

Quantitative assessments including cardiopulmonary fitness and functional exercise capacity will be completed at baseline, post-intervention and 3-months post-intervention (Objective 1). HR-QOL will be quantitatively assessed pre and post-intervention, at 3-months post-intervention and 1 year post-enrollment (Objective 2). Impact on physical, mental and social well-being will be qualitatively examined during focus groups immediately post-intervention and 3-months post-intervention (Objective 3). The implementation costs of RESTORE II will be analyzed in consideration of clinician salaries, overheads and equipment costs (Objective 4). Bio-samples will be collected pre and post-intervention and 3-months post-intervention, establishing the first National UGI Cancer Survivorship Biobank (Objective 5). A patient centered approach to enhancing trial recruitment in this complex cohort will also be evaluated (Objective 6).

Following this evaluation, the RESTORE II program will provide a unique model of multidisciplinary rehabilitation in nutritionally complex UGI cancer survivors.

Lead Research/Investigator

Principal Investigator: Juliette Hussey, PhD, Professor in Physiotherapy