BackgroundAdvances in peri-operative oncological treatment, surgery and peri-operative care have improved survival for patients with oesophagogastric cancers. Neoadjuvant cancer treatment (NCT) reduces physical fitness, which may reduce both compliance and tolerance of NCT as well as compromising post-operative outcomes. This is particularly detrimental in a patient group where malnutrition is common and surgery is demanding. The aim of this trial is to assess the effect on physical fitness and clinical outcomes of a comprehensive exercise training programme in patients undergoing NCT and surgical resection for oesophagogastric malignancies.MethodsThe PERIOP-OG trial is a pragmatic, multi-centre, randomised controlled trial comparing a peri-operative exercise programme with standard care in patients with oesophagogastric cancers treated with NCT and surgery. The intervention group undergo a formal exercise training programme and the usual care group receive standard clinical care (no formal exercise advice). The training programme is initiated at cancer diagnosis, continued during NCT, between NCT and surgery, and resumes after surgery. All participants undergo assessments at baseline, post-NCT, pre-surgery and at 4 and 10 weeks after surgery. The primary endpoint is cardiorespiratory fitness measured by demonstration of a 15% difference in the 6-min walk test assessed at the pre-surgery timepoint. Secondary endpoints include measures of physical health (upper and lower body strength tests), body mass index, frailty, activity behaviour, psychological and health-related quality of life outcomes. Exploratory endpoints include a health economics analysis, assessment of clinical health by post-operative morbidity scores, hospital length of stay, nutritional status, immune and inflammatory markers, and response to NCT. Rates of NCT toxicity, tolerance and compliance will also be assessed.DiscussionThe PERIOP-OG trial will determine whether, when compared to usual care, exercise training initiated at diagnosis and continued during NCT, between NCT and surgery and then during recovery, can maintain or improve cardiorespiratory fitness and other physical, psychological and clinical health outcomes. This trial will inform both the prescription of exercise regimes as well as the design of a larger prehabilitation and rehabilitation trial to investigate whether exercise in combination with nutritional and psychological interventions elicit greater benefits.Trial registrationClinicalTrials.gov: NCT03807518 . Registered on 1 January 2019.