SAN DIEGO, July 21 Bioimpedance spectroscopy (BIS) is moreaccurate and reliable than other methods of subclinical assessment oflymphedema in breast cancer patients, according to a paper published in theJuly 20 issue of Journal of Clinical Oncology (2008; Vol. 26, Issue 21: 3536-3542).
Titled "Lymphedema After Breast Cancer: Incidence, Risk Factors, andEffect on Upper Body Function," the paper, authored by Sandra Hayes, PhD., andcolleagues from Queensland University of Technology in Australia, is based ona study that involved 265 breast cancer patients. Approximately 87 percent ofthe patients had undergone lymph node dissection, 70 percent had receivedradiation therapy and 40 percent had received chemotherapy and/or hormonetreatment. The study's investigators conducted assessments of the patients forthe evidence of lymphedema at three monthly intervals between six- and18-months post-surgery using a BIS device, sum of arm circumference (SOAC) andpatients' self-reporting.
Using BIS, the investigators were able to detect 60 percent of thelymphedema cases that were missed when assessments were conducted with theSOAC method and 40 percent that were missed through self-reporting. For womentreated on their non-dominant side, the SOAC method exhibited even lowersensitivity, with approximately eight out of every 10 patients withsubclinical lymphedema going undetected. The self-reporting method showed lowspecificity, with a 40 percent false positive rate (40 percent of patients whodid not have lymphedema were reported as having the condition).
"Early intervention is critical to the management and treatment oflymphedema, and these latest findings further support the use of bioimpedancespectroscopy as a direct, accurate and reliable measure to aid doctors withthe clinical assessment of the condition," said Greg Brown, CEO of ImpediMed,which has the only FDA cleared device for the clinical assessment by healthcare providers of secondary lymphedema of the arm in women.
Lymphedema is a condition that can cause significant swelling of the upperand lower extremities due to the build-up of excess lymph fluid. This canoccur when the lymphatic system, which is responsible for draining excessfluid from the body and is a key component of the immune system, is damaged oraltered. In breast cancer patients, this can occur after surgery, such asremoval or biopsy of the lymph nodes, and/or radiation therapy. It isestimated that 6 percent to 40 percent of patients with breast cancer developlymphedema, and that it often occurs within the first two years after surgery.For some cancer survivors and others at risk, a low level lymphedema can occur10 years to 15 years following the initial primary treatment and develop intoa condition that has a serious impact on overall health and quality of life.For more information about lymphedema, visithttp://www.nci.nih.gov/cancerinfo/pdq/supportivecare/lymphedema/patient/.
ImpediMed is the world leader in the development and distribution ofmedical devices employing Bioimpedance Spectroscopy (BIS) technologies for usein the non-invasive clinical assessment and monitoring of human disorders anddiseases. ImpediMed's primary product range consists of a number of medicaldevices that enable surgeons, oncologists, therapists and radiationoncologists to clinically assess patients early for the potential onset ofsecondary lymphedema. Pre-operative clinical assessment in breast cancersurvivors, before the onset of symptoms, may prevent the condition frombecoming a lifelong management issue and thus improve the quality of life ofthe cancer survivor. ImpediMed has the only medical device with FDA clearancein the United States for the clinical assessment, by health care providers, ofsecondary lymphedema of the arm in women. For more information, visithttp://www.impedimed.com.