Professor Neil Piller
Flinders University, Australia, Lymphoedema
with the Sun
Ancon Chi Machine.
Professor Neil Piller - Lymphologist and team leader of the
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
conducted the clinical trials
for the Sun Ancon Chi Machine.
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
Adelaide, South Australia.
Flinders Medical Devices and
Technologies (FMDAT) - Member Neil Piller. Research,
Develop, Apply and Commercialize Medical Devices
Internationally recognized lymphologist.
* Part of an
international network of researchers in
* Director and team
leader of a multi-disciplinary team of
* Consultant and
adviser to government, professional and industry
* 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 superficial tissues
* Very strong
commitment to patient and practitioner awareness
raising and education
* Runs a range of
course for patients and health professionals in
the areas of oedemas/lymphoedemas and their
* Recipient of over
$1.6 million in Industry, Government and other
grants in recent years.
- Flinders University Medical Center
Contract Is Signed.
15th June 2000
Gordon Pan, head of Hsin Ten (HTE) with
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 television program.
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 discussed.
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 independently produced 3 booklets
detailing the research finding:
1) Secondary Lymphoedema.
2) Venous Oedema.
3) Patient follow-up.
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.
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
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
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 patients."
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
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).
come up trumps.
University Clinical Trial Results
The Sun Ancon Chi Machine clinical trials and the
Lympoedema and Venous
Clinical Trials and Personal Experiences.
medical articles of the
Chi Machine clinical trial results:
published their clinical trial results:
1) Australian and
New Zealand, Phlebology, November 2003
2) Lymphology, December 2002 and Lymphology, June
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.
The Sun Ancon Chi Machine Aerobic Exerciser: a
new patient focused, home-based therapy for people
with chronic secondary leg lymphoedema.
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
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 pre-treatment levels.
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
Combined opto-electronic perometry and
bioimpedance to measure objectively the
effectiveness of a new treatment intervention for
chronic secondary leg lymphedema.
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
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
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.
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
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,