Cardiopulmonary fitness before and after neoadjuvant chemotherapy in patients with oesophagogastric cancer.

Navidi M, Phillips AW, Griffin SM, Duffield KE, Greystoke A, Sumpter K, Sinclair RCF

The British Journal Of Surgery [Br J Surg] 2018 Mar 30. Date of Electronic Publication: 2018 Mar 30.

Background: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy may have a detrimental impact on cardiorespiratory reserve. Determination of oxygen uptake at the anaerobic threshold by cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) provides an objective measure of cardiorespiratory reserve. Anaerobic threshold can be used to predict perioperative risk. A low anaerobic threshold is associated with increased morbidity after oesophagogastrectomy. The aim of this study was to establish whether neoadjuvant chemotherapy has an adverse effect on fitness, and whether there is recovery of fitness before surgery for oesophageal and gastric adenocarcinoma.
Methods: CPET was completed before, immediately after (week 0), and at 2 and 4 weeks after neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The ventilatory anaerobic threshold and peak oxygen uptake (Vo2 peak) were used as objective, reproducible measures of cardiorespiratory reserve. Anaerobic threshold and Vo2 peak were compared before and after neoadjuvant chemotherapy, and at the three time intervals.
Results: Some 31 patients were recruited. The mean anaerobic threshold was lower following neoadjuvant treatment: 15·3 ml per kg per min before chemotherapy versus 11·8, 12·1 and 12·6 ml per kg per min at week 0, 2 and 4 respectively (P < 0·010). Measurements were also significantly different at each time point (P < 0·010). The same pattern was noted for Vo2 peak between values before chemotherapy (21·7 ml per kg per min) and at weeks 0, 2 and 4 (17·5, 18·6 and 19·3 ml per kg per min respectively) (P < 0·010). The reduction in anaerobic threshold and Vo2 peak did not improve during the time between completion of neoadjuvant chemotherapy and surgery.
Conclusion: There was a decrease in cardiorespiratory reserve immediately after neoadjuvant chemotherapy that was sustained up to the point of surgery at 4 weeks after chemotherapy.