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Minerva Chirurgica 2018 June;73(3):288-94

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4733.18.07667-8


lingua: Inglese

Supplementation with Robuvit® in post-mastectomy post-radiation arm lymphedema

Gianni BELCARO 1, 2 , Mark DUGALL 1, 2, Roberto COTELLESE 2, Beatrice FERAGALLI 2, Ettore CIANCHETTI 1, 2, Maria R. CESARONE 1, 2

1 IRVINE3 Labs, CH-PE University, Chieti, Italy; 2 International Agency for Pharma Standard Supplements (IAPPS), Chieti, Italy


BACKGROUND: Post-mastectomy lymphedema is one of the most significant, non-life-threatening complications following breast cancer surgery and radiotherapy. Post-mastectomy post-radiotherapy (PMPR) lymphedema is related to damages to lymphatics and/or veins during/after axillary surgery and radiotherapy. The management of this condition is very challenging; the comprehensive decongestive therapy (CTD), which combines physiotherapy, self-management, and hygiene, and is currently considered the standard management (SM). The aim of this registry study was to evaluate whether the supplementation with Robuvit® as a lymphedema controlling agent added to CTD over a 2-month period could be more effective than CTD alone.
METHODS: A group of 65 patients with PMPR lymphedema was included in this registry study and followed up for 2 months; 33 were treated with current SM only (control group), and 32 were also supplemented with 600 mg/day of Robuvit® (active treatment group).
RESULTS: At 1- and 2-month follow-up, the decrease in volume was significantly greater in the supplement group (P<0.05), with a final reduction in volume after two months of 654±21 mL (-19.82%) versus 433±23 mL (-12.81%) in the control group. A more significant decrease in skin thickness and symptoms was also observed in the Robuvit® group. No side effects were reported.
CONCLUSIONS: CTD, combined with self-management, can effectively control the excess of limb volume in post-mastectomy lymphedema. Supplementation with Robuvit® is useful to further reduce limb volume. Later stages of lymphedema seem to be more difficult to manage and may require surgery or more invasive treatments.

KEY WORDS: Breast cancer lymphedema - Mastectomy - Arm - Robuvit

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