UChicago Medicine enrolling patients in LymphBridge clinical study for surgical treatment of breast cancer-related lymphedema
April 22, 2021
The University of Chicago Medicine is enrolling patients in LymphBridge, a randomized clinical study to evaluate a novel surgical treatment for addressing breast cancer-related lymphedema. This study is sponsored by Fibralign Corporation with funding provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and being led by world-renowned microsurgeon David W. Chang, MD, Professor of Surgery and Chief of the Section of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at UChicago Medicine.
LymphBridge: Prospective Evaluation of the BioBridge Scaffold as an Adjunct to Lymph Node Transplant for Upper Extremity Lymphedema is an FDA-reviewed clinical study that will assess Fibralign's BioBridge Collagen Matrix for use in improving outcomes of surgical treatment of lymphedema. BioBridge is a sterile, biocompatible and biodegradable device made of medical-grade collagen that has 510(k) clearance from the FDA for use as a surgical mesh to reinforce and support soft tissue repair. In this study BioBridge will be implanted as part of the lymph node transplant surgery to support repair of damaged lymphatic tissue.
The study plans to enroll 60 patients that have been diagnosed with upper extremity lymphedema resulting from breast cancer intervention. Participants will be randomized between the BioBridge treatment group and a surgical control group that will receive standard lymph node transfer surgery.
UChicago Medicine is designated a Comprehensive Center of Excellence by the Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN), one of a select few centers in the United States to achieve this honor. This important distinction signifies that UChicago Medicine sets the standard for best practice multidisciplinary care in the treatment of lymphatic diseases. Institutions designated as a Center of Excellence have been evaluated by international leaders in an extensive review process.
Chang leads this effort at UChicago Medicine and has an international reputation as a pioneer and an innovator in reconstructive surgery and microsurgical treatment of lymphedema. His work in this field was instrumental in introducing lymphaticovenular bypass and lymph node transfer to U.S. operating rooms.
Additional information can be found at NIH's clinical trials site.
Lymphedema is a serious, global, progressive disease that can develop as a result of cancer treatments. Such interventions, while lifesaving, can also destroy enough lymphatic function that the cancer survivor is left with a condition in the affected limb that includes painful swelling and frequent infections. Lymphedema can ultimately lead to irreversible structural changes in the tissues, which can result in severe deformity, serious reduction in function and have a profound impact on quality-of-life. Existing treatments for lymphedema are limited and not curative.