In an earlier ASCO Reading Room article on the pros and cons of exercise for lung cancer patients, Chinese researchers suggested that studies on physical activity in this patient population focus on methods such as Tai Chi and yoga.
Researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston answered that call with a feasibility study of a dyadic yoga program for lung cancer patients and their caregivers, which was presented at the ASCO 2017 Palliative and Supportive Care in Oncology Symposium in San Diego.
Conclusions of the study :Yoga therapy appears to be a feasible and beneficial supportive care strategy for lung cancer patients and caregivers. A larger efficacy trial with a more stringent control group is warranted. Clinical trial information can be sought here: NCT02196844
The yoga program consisted of 15, 60-minute sessions with four main components:
- Joint loosening with mindfulness training
- Physical postures (called asanas) paired with deep relaxation techniques
- Breath work (called pranayama) with sound resonance
- Meditation and guided imagery
“With these patients undergoing radiation, we wanted to focus on keeping the upper chest flexible,” Milbury said of the asana work. “We focused on a lot of chest-opening exercises to loosen up the muscles around the lungs. In general, there was more emphasis on stretching the upper body.”