Low Level Laser Treatment and Breast Cancer Related Lymphedema

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Vanderbilt University

Status and phase

Completed
Phase 4

Conditions

Lymphedema

Treatments

Procedure: manual lymphatic drainage
Procedure: laser and MLD combined
Procedure: laser alone

Study type

Interventional

Funder types

Other

Identifiers

NCT00852930
090118

Details and patient eligibility

About

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (massage therapy) with compression (wearing a tight sleeve on the arm) is the current standard of treatment for breast cancer related lymphedema (arm swelling). Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) was approved in 2006 by the FDA for professional and self/home treatment of lymphedema. LLLT is being offered as a treatment option in many lymphedema treatment settings, but there are few studies of the effectiveness of LLLT as a stand-alone lymphedema treatment or as a possible complementary lymphedema treatment modality to Manual Lymphatic Drainage. The objective of this proposed pilot study is to examine the impact of Advance Practice Nurse (ANP) administered LLLT, as both a stand-alone and complementary treatment, on arm volume, symptoms, and quality of life (QOL) in breast cancer survivors with lymphedema. Findings from this pilot study will be used to determine if LLLT has possible value in the treatment of lymphedema and warrants subsequent evaluation in a larger study.

Full description

The purpose of this proposed pilot study is to examine the impact of Advance Practice Nurse (ANP) administered LLLT, as both a stand-alone and complementary treatment, on arm volume, symptoms, and quality of life (QOL) in breast cancer survivors with related LE. Findings from this pilot randomized study will be used to determine if LLLT has possible value in the treatment of LE and warrants subsequent evaluation in a larger study.

Enrollment

50 patients

Sex

Female

Ages

21+ years old

Volunteers

No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

Breast cancer survivors will be included if they:

  1. are age 21 or older;
  2. require professional treatment for Stage I or II lymphedema as defined by the International Society of Lymphology;
  3. have an order for lymphedema treatment; and
  4. are willing and able to drive to the study sites.

Exclusion criteria

Individuals will not be included if they:

  1. are actively undergoing intravenous chemotherapy or radiation therapy;
  2. have a history of bilateral lymphedema that prohibits extracellular fluid comparison to an unaffected limb;
  3. are unable to stand upright for measurement of height and weight;
  4. have active/metastatic cancer;
  5. are pregnant,:
  6. have artificial joints in areas where electrode placement is critical, or have a pacemaker/internal defibrillator; or
  7. have congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic/acute renal or hepatic disease, pulmonary edema, thrombophlebitis, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), acute infection of any kind, and inflammation in the trunk or arms.

Trial design

Primary purpose

Treatment

Allocation

Randomized

Interventional model

Factorial Assignment

Masking

None (Open label)

50 participants in 3 patient groups

laser alone
Experimental group
Description:
The intervention was therapist administered low level laser therapy using low level laser, number of sessions based upon patient response
Treatment:
Procedure: laser alone
mld alone
Active Comparator group
Description:
The intervention was therapist administered manual lymphatic drainage (mld) using standard massage techniques,number of sessions based upon patient response
Treatment:
Procedure: manual lymphatic drainage
laser and mld combined
Experimental group
Description:
The intervention was therapist administered low level laser and mld using low level laser and standard massage techniques, number of sessions based upon patient response
Treatment:
Procedure: laser and MLD combined

Trial contacts and locations

1

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Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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