The Emerging Field Of Lymphedema Research
This is an exciting time for lymphedema research. The sheer number of articles published monthly by scientists, clinicians and therapists has increased exponentially with important articles on lymphatic molecular biology, novel medical imaging techniques, surgical approaches, systematic reviews on conservative therapies and studies examining risk factors and preventive strategies for lymphedema, among many others. We are proud to be part of this research momentum shedding light on lymphatic disorders and illuminating treatment possibilities. The real challenge now is knowledge translation, especially to physicians and other health professionals. Promoting awareness and providing education to health professionals is a top priority.
More research is needed especially on the impact of post-treatment effects of cancer. The McGill team was awarded one of the first Rossy Cancer Network grants to study preventive strategies to lower the risk of lymphedema and related problems after treatment for gynecological cancers. The results of these research efforts will provide information that will help improve rehabilitation services to those suffering from these conditions.
The McGill Lymphedema Research Program has a multidisciplinary team of clinicians and researchers from the McGill University Health Centre, Supportive Care Services, and Concordia University. A large focus of this team is in knowledge translation: publishing in scholarly journals, oral and poster presentations at conferences, workshops for target groups of health professionals and teaching medical residents, therapists and other health professionals, and developing and disseminating patient education materials and information sessions. We work in close collaboration with the Lymphedema Association of Quebec to advocate for adequate services for those living with lymphedema. We are looking forward to strengthening our international connections in the future, from the teaching and research perspectives.