Need: Glioblastoma (GB) is the most common malignant brain tumor in adults. GBM patients experience debilitating physical side-effects and treatment toxicities (e.g., muscle weakness, loss of function) substantially reducing their overall quality of life. While exercise has been shown to be effective in managing similar side-effects seen in other cancer groups, few studies have explored the benefit of exercise for patients receiving treatment for GB.
Goal: GB patients are confronted with a debilitating disease associated with a low survival rate and poor quality of life. The goal of this study will be to reach a largely underrepresented population in the exercise literature and explore the role of a tailored circuit-based resistance training program on functional fitness (i.e., ability to carry out tasks of daily living) and associated health outcomes (e.g., quality of life) for GBM patients on active treatment.
How: Participants will be assigned to one of two groups: 1) circuit-based resistance exercise (i.e., designed to foster aerobic fitness and muscular strength/endurance); or 2) standard of care. Participants receiving the exercise intervention will participate in a 12-week, 3-4 days/week supervised, individually tailored program. Participant outcomes will be evaluated prior to and following the 12-week study. Participants in the standard of care group will have the option of participating in the exercise intervention at the end of 12-weeks.
Future Impact: Exercise has been demonstrated to be a safe and effective intervention to improve the well-being and quality of life of cancer patients/survivors. Regrettably, given their complex health care needs, GBM patients are largely underrepresented in the exercise literature. This study will demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of a circuit-based resistance training program in improving functional fitness; thereby fostering greater independence and improvements in quality of life. This work will play an instrumental role in informing future trials as to the potential rehabilitative effects of tailored exercise for GBM patients.