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
Prof. Piller conducted the
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 & Technologies:
Internationally recognized lymphologist.
* 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.
University Medical Center website.
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
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,
University independently produced 3 booklets
detailing the research finding:
2) Venous Oedema.
3) Patient follow-up.
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.
May 30th 2002
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 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 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 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 up
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:
Flinders University published
their clinical trial results:
1) Australian and New
Zealand, Phlebology, November 2003
2 Lymphology, December 2002 and Lymphology, June
1) 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.
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
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.
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
- 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
- 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.