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Prospective Screening for Breast Cancer-related Lymphedema

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. Know the risks and potential benefits of clinical studies and talk to your health care provider before participating. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01521741
Recruitment Status : Recruiting
First Posted : January 31, 2012
Last Update Posted : August 26, 2020
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Alphonse Taghian, MD, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital

Brief Summary:
The primary objectives of this study are twofold: 1) to detect and determine the level of symptoms, functional disability, and changes in quality of life that breast cancer patients experience from changes in their arms during and after treatment for breast cancer by collecting patient reported outcome measures, objective measurements, and clinical information in a prospectively maintained database and 2) to improve breast cancer-related lymphedema outcomes by early detection using objective measurements and symptoms assessments and assess these outcomes by maintaining the data in a database in order to contribute to the literature. The secondary aim of this study is to assess extracellular fluid content in the upper extremity, breast, and/or trunk of patients treated for breast cancer before, during, and after treatment in order to better understand the role of bioimpedance spectroscopy in lymphedema screening.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment
Lymphedema Other: Breast Cancer-Related Lymphedema Screening

Detailed Description:

The goal of the study is to create a large, prospectively maintained database with data from multiple objective measurement methods (i.e. perometry and BIS) that has detailed information on patient's symptoms and quality of life measures that can be used to answer research questions.

The study design is prospective in nature, and a questionnaire will be utilized in conjunction with objective measurements before, throughout, and after a patient's treatment for breast cancer. This protocol is designed to mimic the current standard of care screening program with the addition of the quality of life questionnaire and BIS measurements.

Data collection will include medical chart review, perometric arm volume measurements, BIS measurements, and a subjective questionnaire. At their preoperative multidisciplinary breast cancer clinic appointment, patients will undergo baseline arm volume measurements per standard of care. At this time, eligible patients will be offered this study. Those who consent will be given a baseline questionnaire to fill out and have baseline BIS measurements taken. Throughout their treatment and follow-up, patients will periodically have BCRL screening every 2-12 months depending on their risk (i.e. patients who are high risk for BCRL because of extensive lymph node surgery will be measured more often than patients who did not have lymph nodes removed). These screening visits will coincide with naturally occurring oncology follow-up visits; although, patients are also screened when patient or provider requests and questionnaires/BIS measurements will be offered at these time points as well.

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Study Type : Observational
Estimated Enrollment : 10000 participants
Observational Model: Cohort
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: Prospective Screening for Breast Cancer-related Lymphedema: Analysis of Objective Measurements, Symptoms, Functionality, and Quality of Life Questionnaires to Evaluate Lymphedema in Patients Following Treatment for Breast Cancer.
Study Start Date : August 2009
Estimated Primary Completion Date : October 2025
Estimated Study Completion Date : December 2026

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Group/Cohort Intervention/treatment
Breast Cancer Other: Breast Cancer-Related Lymphedema Screening
All patients enrolled in the trial will receive prospective BCRL screening from their pre-operative baseline throughout their breast cancer treatment process. All participants will be measured with perometry, bioimpedance spectroscopy, and patient-reported outcome measures.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Upper extremity changes following treatment for breast cancer [ Time Frame: 1.5 to 5 years ]
    During and following treatment for breast cancer patients' experience a variety of changes in their upper extremities. The subject responses to the patient-reported outcome measures (BCLE-SEI questionnaire) obtained throughout their breast cancer treatment process will be analyzed in conjunction with arm volume measurements taken with both perometry and bioimpedance spectroscopy. This will allow for the correlation between quantifiable limb volume changes and subject documented changes in arm use and functionality and quality of life.

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:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population
Newly diagnosed breast cancer patients.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Confirmed diagnosis of breast cancer
  • Ability to obtain physical positioning for perometry (e.g. abducting shoulder to 90 degrees) and BIS measurements (e.g. standing without aid)

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Evidence of distant metastatic disease that may cause edema,
  • Previous breast cancer
  • History of lymphedema
  • Pregnancy at the time of accrual and/or cardiac implants (contraindications for BIS)
  • Medical conditions that cause fluid retention or swelling (e.g. axillary cancer recurrence, renal insufficiency, congestive heart failure).

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): NCT01521741

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United States, Massachusetts
Massachusetts General Hospital Recruiting
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02134
Contact: Alphonse G Taghian, MD PhD    617-726-6050   
Principal Investigator: Alphonse G Taghian, MD PhD         
Sponsors and Collaborators
Massachusetts General Hospital
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
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Principal Investigator: Alphonse G Taghian, MD PhD Massachusetts General Hospital
Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: Alphonse Taghian, MD, PhD, Chief of Breast Service, Massachusetts General Hospital Identifier: NCT01521741    
Other Study ID Numbers: 08-540
R01CA139118 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: January 31, 2012    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: August 26, 2020
Last Verified: August 2020
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No
Keywords provided by Alphonse Taghian, MD, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital:
Breast Cancer
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Breast Neoplasms
Breast Cancer Lymphedema
Neoplasms by Site
Breast Diseases
Skin Diseases
Lymphatic Diseases
Postoperative Complications
Pathologic Processes