Neil Piller - Flinders University,
Lymphoedema Clinical Trials
Sun Ancon Chi
Published articles regarding clinical
Professor Neil Piller
- Lymphologist and Team Leader
Lymphoedema Assessment Clinic:
Prof. Piller works at the
Flinders University Medical Center in South
Australia and specializes in clinical and
experimental research on primary and secondary
lymphoedemas and oedemas, their assessment,
treatment and management. He belongs to the
Australasian Lymphology Association and the
Lymphoedema Association of Australia and is the
Patron of the Lymphoedema Support Group of South
Piller conducted the clinical trials for the
Sun Ancon Chi Machine.
"Professor Piller along
with Dr Stephen Birrell established the
Lymphoedema Assessment Clinic in 1993. The Clinic
specializes in the assessment and differential
diagnosis of lymphoedemas, oedemas and lipoedemas.
The Clinic uses a range of assessment tools such
as perometry, bio-impedance and tonometry to
objectively determine tissue changes and as the
basis of the diagnosis. The Clinic reviews
patients from across Australia and overseas and as
an outcome presents patients with a comprehensive
treatment and management plan." - Flinders University Medical
Prestigious Flinders University,
Adelaide, South Australia.
Info: Flinders Medical Devices and
Technologies (FMDAT) - Member Neil Piller.
Research, Develop, Apply and
Commercialize Medical Devices & Technologies:
* Part of an
international network of researchers in
* Director and team
leader of a multi-disciplinary team of researchers
* Consultant and adviser
to government, professional and industry groups
* Published and
presented over 300 articles including in
Lymphology, New England Journal of Medicine,
Australian Doctor, Medicine Today.
* Regular presenter and
invited speaker at international meetings, the
most recent being the International Society of
Lymphology meeting in Germany, the British
Lymphology Society meeting in Glasgow, Vein
meeting in Auckland and Phlebology meeting in
* Editor/Reviewer of
international journals including, Lymphatic
Research and Biology, US-China journal of Oncology
and Lymphology, medical science monitor
* Involved in screening
programs for early detection of soft tissue
changes in chronic disorders such as lymphoedema,
oedemas and lipoedemas
* Interested in the
early detection and treatment of superficial
tissue diseases and disorders
* Developed techniques
for the measurement of fibre and other changes in
* Very strong commitment
to patient and practitioner awareness raising and
* Runs a range of course
for patients and health professionals in the areas
of oedemas/lymphoedemas and their recognition
* Recipient of over $1.6
million in Industry, Government and other grants
in recent years.
Flinders University Medical Center website.
The Contract Is Signed.
15th June 2000
head of Hsin Ten (HTE)
and Louise Hicks, Chairperson of Flinders
Amanda Moseley, Prof. Neil Piller, Louise Hicks,
Dr. S. Birrell and Jerry Tsai (CEO of Hsin Ten).
The team of researchers was headed by
Professor Neil Piller, a specialist in the treatment
of oedemas, medical conditions that result in
swelling of the legs through fluid retention. Loss
of fluid and a reduction in the pain and swelling
were among the results observed and evaluated over
21 days use of the machine by oedema sufferers. The
research work was a feature of a recent ABC
A recent function marked the conclusion of the
project, and final results of the trial were
presented by Flinders Consulting Chairman Ms Louise
Hicks to Mr Jerry Tsai, President of Hsin Ten. In
recognition of the researchers' efforts, Mr Tsai
generously donated 20 of the company's Aerobic
Exerciser machines to the Lymphoedema Assessment
Clinic for further research and for selected use by
suffers of oedemas. Hsin Ten representatives from
both Taiwan and Sydney attended the function, and
further collaborations with Flinders were now being
Dr Wayne Harvey, Managing Director of Flinders
Consulting, said it was gratifying to see the
increase in use and recognition of expertise offered
by university researchers. "The
skills of university staff are increasingly being
applied to commercial opportunities with community
benefits," Dr Harvey said. - Flinders University,
Available from HTE
has independently produced 3 booklets detailing
the research finding:
2) Venous Oedema.
3) Patient follow-up.
The booklets contain a
condensed report of the findings of a large scale
clinical trial contracted out to Professor Piller
on behalf of Hsin Ten by Flinders Consulting, as
well as providing instructions for the reader on
how to take optimum care of their legs, with
additional guidance regarding the types of
treatments that may be available to them.
Flinders University has
also produced an interactive DVD for educating
professionals and patients about the lymphatic
system and the clinical trial results. It features
the Sun Ancon Chi Machine as an option of
treatment. "The Vital Essence: Understanding the
lymphatic system in health and disease" DVD is
only available from Flinders University.
Letter from Professor Neil Piller regarding the
the clinical trial results using the HTE Sun
Ancon Chi Machine.
1) "Between 2000 and 2002 a large scale
Clinical Trial was conducted at Flinders Medical
Center on two groups of patients, one group with
chronic leg Secondary Lymphoedema and one group with
chronic leg Venous Oedema."
2) "It is obvious that the Sun Ancon Aerobic
exerciser has a very significant impact on chronic
limb swelling associated with failure of the
lymphatic systems and compromised vascular systems
combined with an overloaded lymphatic system even
when used in the patient's home for 3 weeks. Given
that some of the patients have had their problems
for up to 30 years and that they were generally (to
the time of the trial) receiving the best current
treatments without great impact, these trial
findings offer considerable hope for this group of
3) "It would seem that continued use might be
able to achieve better results, as is evidenced by the
one-month follow-up findings. However perhaps more
important is that this form of home based treatment
was commented on by the participants as giving them
confidence and self determination in managing their
problem (which previously they seemed not to have). It
would also seem that this treatment is a
cost-effective means of managing these problems,
reducing the need to see physiotherapists or otherwise
use the health care system for their conditions."
4) "The trial results have been presented at the
International Congress of lymphology meeting in Genoa
in 2001 and are about to be published in the medical
literature now the study is complete."
New deal sees Flinders team conduct trials
for Taiwanese company, Hsin Ten (HTE).
Projects and clients.
Equipment trials come
University Clinical Trial Results
The Sun Ancon Chi Machine clinical trials and
Lympoedema and Venous
Clinical Trials, Feedback and Experiences.
Published medical articles -
Chi Machine clinical trial results:
Flinders University published their clinical
1) Australian and New Zealand, Phlebology,
2 Lymphology, December 2002 and Lymphology, June
The Impact of the Sun Ancon Chi Machine
Aerobic Exercise on Chronic Oedema of the
Legs. - Moseley,
A.L., Piller, N.B., Esterman, A.J. and Carati,
C.J. (November 2003). The impact of the sun
Ancon aerobic exerciser on chronic oedema of
the legs. Australian and New Zealand Journal
of Phlebology, 7(2) pp. 5-10.
2a) The Sun
Ancon Chi Machine Aerobic Exerciser: a new
patient focused, home-based therapy for people
with chronic secondary leg lymphoedema.
"A significant proportion of those who survive
lower torso cancer treatments will go on to develop
clinically discernible bilateral or unilateral leg
lymphedema. Although beneficial treatments exist for
this condition, many are expensive and involve
visits to outpatient clinics or allied health
professionals--making the patient dependent upon
others for treatment and maintenance.
This clinical trial tested the efficacy of the
Sun Ancon Chi Machine Aerobic Exerciser, a home
based therapy that delivered both elevation and
passive exercise to the legs. This machine was used
in the participant's home according to a set regime
with measurements being taken immediately before
trial commencement, at weekly intervals and then 1
month after treatment cessation.
After a three week treatment period
there were statistically significant reductions in
total leg volume and fluids, whole body
extracellular fluid, weight and subjective leg
symptoms. Lymphscintigraphy in a sub-group of
patients suggested an increase in lymphatic
transport in some individuals. Although some of the
fluid and symptoms had returned at the 1 month
follow up, none of the parameters had returned to
This finding indicates that this equipment may
have ongoing beneficial effects. This clinical trial
demonstrates that the Sun Ancon Chi Machine Aerobic
Exerciser is an effective adjunct therapy that can
be used in the patient's own home."
- Department of Surgery and Lymphoedema
Assessment Clinic, School of Medicine, Bedford
Park, South Australia, Australia.
Lymphology. Issue 37, June 2004, p.43-4 - Moseley
AL, Piller N, Esterman A, Carati C.
Original Sun Ancon Chi Machine
opto-electronic perometry and bioimpedance to
measure objectively the effectiveness of a new
treatment intervention for chronic secondary leg
"Secondary lymphedema of the legs is a common
sequela of patients treated for cancer of the
reproductive, gastrointestinal, urinary systems and
melanoma. From a clinical and research perspective
it is of utmost importance to use techniques that
objectively quantify leg volume and fluid
composition as an indicator of lymphedema severity
and response to treatment.
Two techniques often used in both the clinical
and research setting are leg perometry and
multi-frequency bioimpedance. Although both
techniques have been extensively validated, this
trial aimed to cross correlate both measurement
techniques to ascertain whether each or both could
be used reliably for measurement of leg lymphedema.
These measurements were utilized throughout a
clinical trial that assessed the effectiveness of a
new home based treatment program in the form of the
Sun Ancon Aerobic Exerciser. This machine delivered
both elevation and passive exercise to the legs,
with participants using the machine over a three
week period during which time their leg volumes were
measured using both perometry and bioimpedance.
The results demonstrated that leg volume
measurements decreased using both perometry and
bioimpedance. The reduction in body extracellular
fluid as measured by bioimpedance correlated well
with a reduction in leg volume as measured by
perometry. Bioimpedance also recorded a reduction in
weight, which was correlated with the reduction in
leg volume as measured by perometry.
This trial confirms that perometry and
bioimpedance were both effective in independently
showing a reduction in leg lymphedema using the
Aerobic Exerciser therapy, and that both methods can
be reliably used to measure and follow leg
- Lymphedema Assessment Clinic, Flinders
Surgical Oncology Unit, Department of Public
Health School of Medicine, Flinders Medical
Centre, Bedford Park, Adelaide, South Australia.
Lymphology. Issue 35, December 2002, p.136-43 -
Moseley A, Piller N, Carati C.