News Worms
News Worms


Cooling Caps May Reduce Hair Loss in Chemotherapy

Cooling Caps May Reduce Hair Loss in Chemotherapy

It found 12 per cent of patients who had scalp cooling had no hair loss, 23 per cent had minimal hair loss and 65 per cent had moderate hair loss.

Both types of research were published on February 14 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Unfortunately the cooling caps aren't widely available yet, and they don't come cheap. The women all had either stage I or II breast cancer.

The interim analysis was presented at the 2016 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in December. So far, only DigniCap has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration - Paxman is still pending clearance.

Other contributors to this study include Tao Wang, Polly Niravath, Mari Rude, Susan Hilsenbeck, C. Kent Osborne, Mothaffar Rimawi and Kristen Otte, all with Baylor College of Medicine, Cynthia Osborne, Frankie Holmes and Jay Courtright with Texas Oncolocy, US Oncology, Richard Paxman with Paxman Coolers Ltd., Steven Papish with Summit Medical Group-MD Anderson Cancer Center, Jame Abraham with Cleveland Clinic and Mario Lacouture with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Prior to the SCALP trial, there had been no randomized studies assessing modern scalp cooling to prevent alopecia, and the results from similar non-randomized trials have varied historically.

A multicenter study has found that women who undergo scalp cooling while receiving common adjuvant chemotherapy regimens for early-stage breast cancer were significantly more likely to keep at least some of their hair throughout treatment, compared with women who did not have scalp cooling. It also shows that women who use the cooling caps had a better quality of life.

The cooling device used a double cap placed on the scalp for 30 minutes before, during and after the treatment, and maintained the temperature at around 37 degrees Fahrenheit.

Researchers in both studies done at various medical centers used a cooling system with a tight cap on a patients' head before, during and after each chemotherapy session. 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. Some 77 percent of the patients were white, 9 percent were black and almost 11 percent were Asian. The average duration of chemotherapy was 2.3 months.

Response: This study was fueled by the feedback from women undergoing chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer. Two patients discontinued scalp cooling due to feeling cold.

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. All patient follow up will continue for a total of five years. Dignitana AB supported the design and conduct of the study, including collection, management, analysis and interpretation of the data. From UCSF, co-authors are Michelle E. Melisko, MD, and Laura Esserman, MD, MBA; from Weill Cornell Medicine, Anne Moore, MD, was also a co-author.

About Weill Cornell Medicine: Weill Cornell Medicine is committed to excellence in patient care, scientific discovery and the education of future physicians in New York City and around the world. She is an assistant professor and breast cancer expert with the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. In the US, about 40,610 women are expected to die from the disease.

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