Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

MU Researchers Collaborate to Develop Standard of Care for Breast Cancer Survivors with Lymphedema

18.02.2010
Lymphedema, a chronic swelling condition that can appear after breast cancer surgery, is a risk for 1.3 million breast cancer survivors. Although lymphedema can cause lifelong swelling in the arms, back, neck and chest, there is no national standard of diagnosis or care.

Now, University of Missouri researchers are leading the American Lymphedema Framework Project (ALFP), a national, multi-disciplinary collaboration to develop comprehensive guidelines for the assessment, treatment, and management of lymphedema.

“We can’t cure lymphedema today – we can only manage it,” said Jane Armer, MU nursing professor and director of the project at the MU Ellis Fischel Cancer Center. “Lymphedema is a complex, chronic condition. Currently, there are inconsistent approaches to care for lymphedema, and often the most common form of self-management is to not treat it at all.”

The ALFP, established in 2008, has two main goals: establish a best practices document with evidence-based lymphedema treatment guidelines for health practitioners, and create a minimum data set of all available lymphedema research and clinical data. The ALFP researchers plan to publish the best practices document in 2011.

“Part of why there isn’t a standard of care is the lack of reliance on current evidence by health practitioners and third party payers, which in turn causes problems with reimbursement from health insurance companies. Many people with lymphedema have to pay out-of-pocket for care,” Armer said. “There isn’t a clear, national consensus for how to diagnose lymphedema and when to start treating it. The ALFP collaborators aim to document a standard of care reflecting a consensus on best practices that will help solve these problems.”

Researchers, including those at MU, have found that the most effective method of care for lymphedema is complete decongestive physiotherapy, in which therapists use specialized lymphatic massage techniques to reduce protein-rich fluid buildup. Bandages and compression garments also help to reduce swelling.

One of Armer’s innovations at MU is measuring patients’ arms with a perometer, a machine that was first used to fit garments for swollen limbs. First implemented in a research setting at MU, the machine has a large optoelectric frame that glides over a patient’s arm, scans its image and records an estimated limb volume reading. Perometer measurement is as, or more, accurate than several previous methods to measure arm circumference and volume. The machine is now used in about 20 sites across the country.

Highlights of MU Sinclair School of Nursing research from the past 10 years reveal that there is a 40 percent higher risk of developing lymphedema in women with a body mass index (BMI) classified as overweight or obese compared to normal-weight women. The researchers also found that younger patients may have less occurrence of the condition but tend to report more symptoms, which could be a result of psychological and aging-related factors.

“In addition to our previous findings, we’re currently studying whether there are any genetic factors that increase the risk of lymphedema,” Armer said. “A pilot study now underway and a proposed multi-site research study will look at the possibility of genetic predisposition for secondary lymphedema. The results could be applied to cancer treatment in which surgery and radiation affect the lymphatic system.”

In recognition of the leadership in lymphedema research at MU, the ALFP is housed at the MU Ellis Fischel Cancer Center. Armer’s research is funded by the National Institutes of Health and is published in several journals, including the Journal of Lymphoedema; Lymphology; Lymphatic Research and Biology; and the Journal of Cancer Survivorship, and presented at conferences throughout the world. The activities of the ALFP have been funded by industry partnerships and grants from the American Cancer Society through The Longaberger Company, a direct-selling company offering home products, and the Longaberger Horizon of Hope Campaign, which provided a grant for breast cancer research and education.

Emily Martin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.missouri.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

nachricht What does congenital Zika syndrome look like?
24.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>