Effect of RMT on lung cancer patients

Effect of RMT on lung cancer patients
Dyspnea causes distress in about 70% of people with lung cancer, and can affect up to 90% of patients suffering from advanced lung cancer. Respiratory muscle training (RMT) may improve respiratory muscle strength, patient comfort and quality of life.

RMT was tested as a possible treatment option for improving respiratory function, dyspnea and quality of life in patients with lung cancer.

Study Methods

Pulmonary function, dyspnea, quality of life and depression and anxiety were assessed before and after 12 weeks of RMT in patients with lung cancer and compared to a control group receiving standard care.

Key Findings

  • Dyspnea is a distressing symptom associated with lung cancer, leading to exercise intolerance and reduced quality of life (QOL).
  • Dyspnea is more refractory to treatment than pain and less responsive to pharmacological treatment.
  • 12 weeks of respiratory muscle training (RMT) improve dyspnea, mastery of dyspnea, fatigue, depression, and emotional function in patients with lung cancer.
  • RMT effectively improves dyspnea perception, depression, fatigue and QOL in patients with lung cancer.

Study Results

Dyspnea distress and management, as well as ability to cope with dyspnea improved significantly with RMT, as did fatigue, emotional function, dyspnea mastery and depression.

In conclusion, RMT is effective and feasible in lung cancer patients, improving dyspnea, fatigue, depression and quality of life.


Molassiotis A. The effect of resistance inspiratory muscle training in the management of breathlessness in patients with thoracic malignancies: a feasibility randomised trial.Support Care Cancer. 2015 Jun;23(6):1637-45.

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