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Birmingham, Alabama 35294


The purpose of this feasibility study is to examine the effect of resistance training on muscle strength, lean body mass, physical functioning, fatigue, and quality of life in head and neck cancer patients receiving radiation therapy.

Study summary:

Head and neck cancer (HNCa) patients often lose significant body weight and lean mass which is associated with higher mortality, greater fatigue, poorer quality of life, and reduced physical functioning. Because nutritional supplementation may not consistently improve lean body mass, resistance training may be beneficial. HNCa patients experience unique side effects that impact nutritional status, limiting generalization of exercise intervention study results in other cancer types to HNCa patients. Therefore, 44 HNCa patients will be enrolled in a randomized controlled trial with the following study aims: Primary study aim: Because this pilot proposal is among the first to attempt a randomized controlled exercise trial in HNCa patients, the primary study aim examines feasibility (e.g., study acceptance, recruitment, intervention process evaluation, adherence, adverse events, retention). The investigators hypothesize that study procedures will require minor alterations in future studies. Secondary study aim #1: Because effect sizes are necessary for planning efficacy trials, the proposal will compare the effect of a 12-week resistance training plus nutritional counseling intervention versus nutritional counseling alone on muscle strength, lean body mass, physical functioning, fatigue, and quality of life in HNCa patients receiving radiation with or without chemotherapy. The investigators hypothesize that patients receiving resistance training with nutritional counseling will demonstrate greater improvements in the outcomes when compared with participants receiving nutritional counseling alone. Secondary study aim #2: To enhance adherence in future intervention trials, this proposal will determine resistance training and nutritional adherence rates and associated factors among HNCa patients using attendance records, exercise logs, diet records, self-administered survey, and medical record review. The investigators hypothesize that adherence rates will be lower than that of other cancer populations with correlates including demographic, medical, and psychosocial factors. Assessments will occur at baseline (first week of radiation), week 6 (mid-intervention), and week 12 (post-intervention). Qualitative and quantitative (e.g., rates, 95% confidence intervals) will assess feasibility and mixed model ANOVA will examine group differences. This information is critical for the design of future resistance training efficacy trials in HNCa patients to prevent lean body mass loss in HNCa patients, potentially reducing mortality, minimizing fatigue, and improving physical functioning and quality of life.


Inclusion criteria: - 1st time diagnosis of head and neck cancer (stage I, II, III, or IV; pharyngeal, laryngeal, nasopharyngeal, oral, floor of mouth, tongue, palate, maxillary, or mandibular) - age 19 to 90 years old - English speaking - radiation therapy planned or underway < 1 week - Karnofsky performance status ≥ 60%, and - able to stand Exclusion Criteria: - dementia or organic brain syndrome - severe emotional distress - active schizophrenia - quadriplegia or loss of use of limbs or torso - tendon rupture - muscle tear - another diagnoses of cancer in the past 5 years, and - oncologist refuses to allow screening for possible study participation



Primary Contact:

Principal Investigator
Laura Q Rogers, MD, MPH
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Backup Contact:


Location Contact:

Birmingham, Alabama 35294
United States

There is no listed contact information for this specific location.

Site Status: N/A

Data Source: ClinicalTrials.gov

Date Processed: October 09, 2019

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