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Identification of a Screening Tool and Treatment of Lymphedema Secondary to the Management of Breast Cancer Study

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00282529
Recruitment Status : Terminated
First Posted : January 26, 2006
Last Update Posted : January 24, 2017
Information provided by:
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins

Brief Summary:
The proposed research is designed to establish lymphedema incidence rates for a varied population of breast cancer patients. Patients with breast preservation, mastectomy, sentinel lymph node biopsy, axillary dissection and radiation therapy will be included with the goal of determining the impact that each of these treatments has on development of lymphedema. Establishing incidence in these populations is crucial to the remainder of the study. We conduct a two phase study. The first phase will use arm measurements, a symptom survey (The Lymphedema and Breast Questionnaire), a functional survey (Disability of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand Questionnaire), and operative and pathology information to create a simple screening tool to predict the development of lymphedema. Currently, lymphedema is only diagnosed after arm swelling develops. The goal of the screening tool is to identify those patients at significantly increased risk for development of lymphedema as compared to the general population of breast cancer survivors. Phase 2 of the study will test a lymphedema prevention strategy in a high risk population. The goal of this phase is to reduce the incidence of lymphedema in those patients that have undergone an axillary node dissection with radiation therapy by using a combination of education, a compression sleeve and decongestive exercises. If prevention is successful, the development of a screening tool becomes even more important to identify those patients that should undergo a prevention regimen.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Breast Cancer Lymphedema Device: High Risk Lymphedema Education and Device Intervention Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

Background: Lymphedema has varied definitions, all based on limb volume changes. None incorporates limb volume changes, symptoms, and functional deficits. We will determine the incidence of lymphedema in breast cancer patients and the impact of breast conserving therapy, radiation therapy, sentinel lymph node biopsy, and axillary node dissection. The impact of lymphedema can be evaluated in a number of ways; 1) The Lymphedema and Breast Cancer Questionnaire (LBCQ) identifies symptoms that are unique to patients with lymphedema and 2) The Disability of the Arm, Hand, and Shoulder (DASH) survey will be used to determine the functional impact of lymphedema.

Objective/Hypothesis: Our hypotheses are: 1) Local therapies for breast cancer result in different lymphedema rates depending on the combination of therapies used. 2) A simple screening tool that incorporates symptoms, limb volume measurements, and tumor staging and treatment modalities can predict those patients that will develop lymphedema. 3) Functional impairment of the arm is severe in patients with lymphedema. 4) Prevention of lymphedema in a high risk population is possible with education, a compression sleeve, and decongestive exercise.

Specific Aims: 1) Evaluate patients both pre-operatively and at specific time intervals post-operatively to establish the incidence of lymphedema in sentinel lymph node biopsy and axillary dissection groups. 2) Create a simple screening tool using arm measurements, symptoms identified by the LBCQ, and treatment and staging information to identify patients that should go on to further testing and treatment. 3) Utilize the DASH survey to measure the extent of disability from lymphedema and surgical treatment. 4) Conduct a randomized trial of lymphedema prevention in a high-risk breast cancer population.

Study Design: This proposal will be conducted in two phases. Phase 1 will accomplish Specific Aim 1, 2, and 3. Patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer awaiting definitive surgery, will be enrolled pre-operatively and undergo arm measurements and complete the LBCQ and the DASH surveys. These same study procedures will be completed at 1, 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months postoperative. Documentation collected during the study will include: demographic information; co-morbid conditions; operative and pathology reports; and use of adjuvant therapies such as chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and radiation therapy. Incidence rates of lymphedema and the impact of extent of surgery and radiation therapy will be determined. We will also use this information to develop a simple screening tool to identify patients that will develop lymphedema prior to the development of significant limb volume changes. Specific Aim 4 is Phase 2 of the proposal. A high risk population (those that have an axillary node dissection and radiation therapy) will be randomized to standard education versus standard education, compression sleeve, and exercise. The effectiveness of prevention to reduce incidence and severity of lymphedema and the impact on symptoms and functional impairment will be determined. This work will move toward a new paradigm of lymphedema management with a simple screening tool to identify high risk patients before significant swelling occurs and investigate prevention strategies to decrease the incidence of lymphedema.

Cancer Relevance: Lymphedema is a feared complication of breast cancer treatment. Currently it is recognized and treated only after development of significant limb volume changes when it is symptomatic and difficult to treat. Documentation of the impact of local therapies on the development of lymphedema will allow clinicians to make more informed decisions regarding risk benefit ratios of each of our local therapies. Development of a screening tool will allow us to identify high risk populations. Ideally, the high risk population will be identified and an effective prevention strategy implemented. Phase one of this study will help to answer the questions regarding incidence and create a screening tool and phase two will allow the evaluation of a prevention strategy.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 400 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Identification of a Screening Tool and Treatment of Lymphedema Secondary to the Management of Breast Cancer Study
Actual Study Start Date : January 2006
Actual Primary Completion Date : November 2007
Actual Study Completion Date : November 2007

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Bilateral arm measurements, Lymphedema and Breast Cancer Questionnaire, Disability of the Arm and Shoulder and Hand(DASH)Questionnaire

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Standard lymphedema risk reduction education, Lymphedema prevention

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

Age of 18 years or older, biopsy proven breast cancer with no known metastatic cancer, surgical management of breast cancer with node evaluation to be completed at Johns Hopkins Hospital, ability to speak and read English, willing and able to continue follow-up at Johns Hopkins Avon foundation Breast Center -

Exclusion Criteria: Known psychiatric illness, unwillingness to be followed for two years, functional arm deficits, prior radiation therapy to the breast or axilla, any prior diagnosis of cancer except basal cell cancer


Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00282529

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United States, Maryland
Avon Breasts Center, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Baltimore,, Maryland, United States, 21287
Sponsors and Collaborators
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins
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Principal Investigator: Lisa Jacobs, M.D. Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Department of Surgery

Layout table for additonal information Identifier: NCT00282529     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: J05101
First Posted: January 26, 2006    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: January 24, 2017
Last Verified: January 2017
Keywords provided by Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins:
lymphedema, screening, treatment
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Breast Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Breast Diseases
Skin Diseases
Lymphatic Diseases