Axillary Reverse Mapping (ARM) Technique

Official Title

A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing the Axillary Reverse Mapping (ARM) Technique to Standard Axillary Surgery in Breast Cancer Patients.

Summary:

The purpose of this pilot study is to compare a new surgical technique (axillary reverse mapping) to standard axillary surgery in patients diagnosed with invasive or in situ breast cancer.

Trial Description

Primary Outcome:

  • Lymphedema
  • Lymphedema
Secondary Outcome:
  • EORTC-QLQ-C30
  • EORTC-QLQ-C30
  • Disabilities of the Arm and Shoulder and Hand (DASH)
  • Disabilities of the Arm and Shoulder and Hand (DASH)
  • Post-operative complications
  • Breast Cancer and Lymphedema Symptom Experience Index (BCLE-SEI) Part 1
  • Breast Cancer and Lymphedema Symptom Experience Index (BCLE-SEI) Part 1
Lymphedema is a major chronic morbidity that occurs in patients undergoing treatment for breast cancer (BC). Surgery for BC includes axillary surgery with either sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) or axillary lymph node dissection (ALND). Lymphedema occurs due to removal or disruption of lymphatic drainage of the arm that overlaps with drainage of the breast. The risk of lymphedema increases significantly with adjuvant radiation. Axillary reverse mapping (ARM) is a technique where blue dye is injected into the upper arm at surgery, allowing direct visualization of arm lymphatics and nodes during either SLNB or ALND. This allows preservation of arm lymphatics unless there is suspicion of metastatic disease in ARM lymphatics or if the ARM node is/are also the sentinel lymph node. Studies to date have largely been observational cohort studies, and mainly with low risk patients undergoing SLNB only. There is only one published randomized controlled trial, and this included only patients undergoing modified radical mastectomy.Our proposal is a prospective randomized pilot study. The study population includes patients undergoing axillary surgery (SLNB with mastectomy or ALND with either BCS or mastectomy or completion ALND after positive SLNB). The intervention group will undergo ARM; the control will undergo standard surgical treatment. Both groups will undergo standardized baseline and postoperative arm measurements and patients will complete symptom and quality of life questionnaires. The purpose is to determine the feasibility of the ARM technique, its accuracy in identifying and sparing arm lymphatics, and its ability to reduce the risk of lymphedema.

View this trial on ClinicalTrials.gov

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Resources

Canadian Cancer Society

These resources are provided in partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society