Researchers at the Duke University Comprehensive Cancer Center in Durham, N.C., say they followed 20 newly diagnosed lung cancer patients who had undergone surgery. Participants had been diagnosed with Stage I to Stage IIIb cancer.
The patients were expected to participate in three hourlong exercise sessions per week, on stationary bikes. The study lasted 14 weeks.
The study found the attendance rate for the exercise sessions was nearly 85 percent, and patients were less fatigued and gained greater aerobic fitness over the course of the study -- as measured by what is known as a "maximal exercise test," similar to the type Lance Armstrong performed prior to riding in the Tour De France.
The test involved having a participant pedal until he can no longer tolerate it, and then measuring his oxygen levels by asking him to breathe into a device.
"Our study showed that this population can not only tolerate exercise but that it can lead to improved tolerance for exercise, and better quality of life," lead investigator Lee Jones said in a statement.
The findings are scheduled to be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago.