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Introduction: Hospitalization setting is unfavorable for walking capacity preservation in older patients with cancer, related to prolonged bed rest, which may induce functional loss and increase fall risk. The Ema platform enables walking under safe and entertaining conditions.We experimented with this platform in older patients hospitalized for cancer.

Methods: This prospective interventional French bicentric pilot study, conducted among inpatients aged 70 years and older, admitted for cancer for at least 48 hours, took place from June to October 2018. The main feasibility criterion was reached if 70% of the included patients completed two walking sessions lasting at least six minutes.

Results: Forty-five patients were included, 18 of whom were metastatic and twenty-two were male. The median age was 76 years (range, 70–87 years). Only 31 patients underwent two sessions and 26 underwent at least sixminutes (58%). Higher weight (p = 0.025) was significantly associated with feasibility. A non-significant trend to improvement in gait speed was observed during the second session.

Conclusions: The feasibility criterion was not reached, mostly due to patients' unstable acute medical conditions. A study targeting inpatients for cancer-planned surgery would be easier to conduct, with gait data collected before hospitalization. Further improvements in gait speed beyond the second walking session were expected.