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LLLT Combined With CDT in Breast Cancer-Related Lymphedema

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
New York University School of Medicine Identifier:
First received: May 9, 2011
Last updated: July 7, 2016
Last verified: July 2016
This study aims to explore the effects of Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) on breast cancer-related lymphedema when utilized in conjunction with Complex Decongestive Therapy (CDT) when compared to CDT treatment alone. The investigators hypothesize that the addition of LLLT to CDT will result in statistically significant improvements and greater long-term benefits as measured by changes in arm volume and girth, pain levels, tissue texture, symptoms experienced, and quality of life when compared to the benefits of CDT alone for the treatment of breast cancer-related lymphedema.

Condition Intervention
Breast Cancer
Device: Low Level Laser Therapy
Device: Low Level Laser

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Participant, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: The Effectiveness of Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)Combined With Complex Decongestive Therapy (CDT) in the Treatment of Breast Cancer-Related Lymphedema: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by New York University School of Medicine:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Arm Volume [ Time Frame: 5-6 measurements over the course of 13-14 months ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Quality of Life [ Time Frame: 5-6 measurements over a course of 12-13 months ]

Enrollment: 150
Study Start Date: May 2011
Primary Completion Date: June 2016 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Placebo Comparator: Placebo
CDT + inactive LLL
Device: Low Level Laser Therapy
Placebo LLL combined with CDT
Other Names:
  • Low Level Laser
  • Complex Decongestive Therapy
Active Comparator: LLL combined with CDT
CDT + active LLL
Device: Low Level Laser
Active LLL combined with CDT
Other Name: Complex Decongestive Therapy


Ages Eligible for Study:   21 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • unilateral breast cancer with ipsilateral lumpectomy or mastectomy and lymph node dissection (sentinel biopsy or axillary dissection)
  • stage II or III unilateral secondary upper extremity lymphedema (as defined by the International Society of Lymphology)
  • girth ≥ 2 cm circumferential difference and/or volume ≥ 200 mL compared to the uninvolved upper extremity at any 4 cm segment
  • able to commit to a long term follow-up schedule

Exclusion Criteria:

  • active cancer/metastatic cancer
  • currently receiving or have plans for adjuvant radiation or chemotherapy
  • pregnant
  • presence of other extremity lymphedema (primary or secondary)
  • pacemaker
  • artificial joints in the upper quadrants
  • renal failure
  • arterial insufficiency
  • congestive heart failure
  • chronic inflammatory conditions
  • history of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the lymphedematous upper extremity
  • previous treatment with Low Level Laser (regardless of indication)
  • medication(s) known to affect body fluid balance
  • body mass index (BMI) > 40 (morbid obesity)
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01351376

United States, New York
NYU Clinical Cancer Center
New York, New York, United States, 10016
NYU Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine
New York, New York, United States, 10016
Tisch Hospital
New York, New York, United States, 10016
Sponsors and Collaborators
New York University School of Medicine
Principal Investigator: Teresa Denham, PT, MA NYU Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine
  More Information

Responsible Party: New York University School of Medicine Identifier: NCT01351376     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 10-00923
Study First Received: May 9, 2011
Last Updated: July 7, 2016

Keywords provided by New York University School of Medicine:
Lymphedema, Low Level Laser, Breast Cancer

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Breast Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Breast Diseases
Skin Diseases
Lymphatic Diseases processed this record on May 23, 2017