Cooling caps may reduce hair loss from chemotherapy

Feb 17, 2017, 00:32
Cooling caps may reduce hair loss from chemotherapy

In one study, a scalp cooling cap group and a control group were compared to each other. But researchers may have found a way to slow it. The study, which tracks patients over five years, used standardized photographs to grade hair loss.

Approximately 50% of cancer patients characterize hair loss as one of the most awful aspects of chemotherapy. The results differed from one medical center to another, but the researchers explained that these differences were given by an improper use of the cooling caps.

The trial shows that scalp cooling using the Orbis Paxman Hair Loss Prevention System is highly effective in hair preservation after the fourth chemotherapy cycle for patients who receive taxane or anthracycline, or both, chemotherapy for stage I or II breast cancer.

Chemotherapy is one of the most common treatments for cancer.

Breast cancer patients who need chemotherapy usually lose their hair due to the powerful drugs.

What next for scalp cooling and chemotherapy? This is the first research to be done that evaluates the efficacy of scalp cooling devices in a randomized clinical trial, the authors note. Scalp cooling therapy has been available for a few years in the United Kingdom, but has faced obstacles in FDA clearance in the states.

The women wore the cap for 30 minutes before their chemotherapy treatment, during the treatment and for 90 to 120 minutes after it ended. The silicone cap was then gradually cooled. Scalp temperature was maintained at 3 degrees Celsius (37 degrees Fahrenheit) during treatment.

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Nearly 66 percent of Rugo's paitents and 51 percent of Nangia's patients estimated that they have kept almost half of their hair due to the cooling caps. In the parallel control group, all the patients lost their hair.

Also, results showed that the women who wore cooling caps had a better quality of life than those who didn't. But there's a long road ahead, and hopefully the recent development of targeted therapies-treatments that attack only the cancer and leave the good cells (including hair follicles) alone-will relegate scalp cooling technology to the world of antiquated medical devices. Some of those who used the caps reported that they experienced mild headaches, while others abandoned the experiment because they were bothered by the coolness sensation.

Numerous patients reported mild headaches or scalp pain associated with the scalp cooling.

While chilling the scalp may seem to carry few risks, Lichtenfeld says there is a theoretical risk that inhibiting the effect of chemotherapy in the scalp could allow metastases to take hold there. Dignitana AB supported the design and conduct of the study, including collection, management, analysis and interpretation of the data.

New research suggests Ms Bell was lucky.

Claudette Foreman, a research coordinator at Baylor College of Medicine, demonstrates the Paxman cooling device. Located in the heart of the Upper East Side's scientific corridor, Weill Cornell Medicine's powerful network of collaborators extends to its parent university Cornell University; to Qatar, where an global campus offers a US medical degree; and to programs in Tanzania, Haiti, Brazil, Austria and Turkey. Weill Cornell Medicine is also affiliated with Houston Methodist. Weill Cornell Medicine faculty provide comprehensive patient care at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital and New York-Presbyterian/Queens.