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Clinical Studies

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Rehabilitation for Head and Neck Cancer

Purpose Patients treated for head and neck cancer (HNC) suffer from severe side-effects such as pain and difficulties in swallowing, often leading to weight loss. More than 70 % of the weight loss is attributed to lean muscle wasting that is associated with decline in physical function, substantial fatigue and significantly decreased quality of life. Rehabilitation that includes physical exercise, nutritional counselling and oral nutritional supplements (ONS) can potentially reduce or prevent muscle wasting. The primary aim of this pilot randomised trial is to assess feasibility, evaluate patient experiences and assess preliminary effects on muscle mass, physical function, nutritional status and quality of life of rehabilitation interventions during and after radiotherapy (RT). Newly diagnosed HNC patients referred for curative RT with or without chemotherapy, will be randomised to a) rehabilitation during RT or b) rehabilitation after RT. Rehabilitation during RT will be carried out at an outpatient facility during the treatment period (6-7 weeks) and rehabilitation after RT will be carried at a rehabilitation centre and last for 3 weeks.
Recruitment This study is currently recruiting participants.
Condition Head and Neck Neoplasms
Intervention Behavioral: Exercise and nutrition during radiotherapy
Behavioral: Multidimensional rehabilitation after radiotherapy
Outcome Measures
Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Feasibility of interventions tracked by number of patients ineligible or refusing to participate, completion of interventions and attrition, adverse events and exercise/nutritional adherence. [ Time Frame: 15 weeks ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Preliminary effects on skeletal muscle mass as measured by computerized tomography at lumbar vertebra 3 [ Time Frame: 15 weeks ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
Locations and Contacts
Jon Arne Sandmael; +47 72 40 95 00;
Guro B Stene, PhD;

LHL-klinikkene Røros - Recruiting
Røros, Norway, 7374
Contact: Jon Arne Sandmael MSc, +47 90768287;

St Olavs Hospital - Recruiting
Trondheim, Norway
Contact: Guro B Stene, PhD;
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