Hair loss caused by chemo: an online registry will help to learn more

Hair loss can be a big concern for many cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, and according to a recent review of the literature published on the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, «scalp cooling efficacy is dependent on many factors but demonstrates better hair preservation than no cooling». Now the manufacturers of the two scalp cooling products approved by the FDA have supported the CHILL (Cancer-related Hair Loss, International Leadership and Linkage) initiative and the launch of a website in English and Dutch that will allow patients and caregivers around the world to learn more about scalp cooling and share their experiences, contributing data to a registry that will provide the basis to define the best practices to deal with the many factors involved, and ensure maximum effectiveness of scalp cooling.

The visualisation of the expected results in one of the scenarios obtained using the decision aid on the CHILL website, supported by the manufacturers of the two scalp cooling devices approved by the FDA.

An online tool helps patients have realistic expectations based on the type of cancer they are affected by and the kind of chemotherapy regimen they are going to receive (see image).

 

The principle of scalp cooling has been applied in women with breast cancer since the 1970s: it constricts blood vessels reducing the amount of drug that reaches the hair follicles, while also slowing metabolism and cell division. The first cooling system was approved by the FDA only in 2015 (Dignitana), and it was followed earlier this year by the competitor Paxman Scalp Cooling System. Both were initially approved for  reducing hair loss only  in patients with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy, but the indication for the Dignitana was recently extended by FDA to all solid tumors.

The registry collects clinical information (such as type and dose of chemotherapy, infusion time, and postinfusion cooling time), tatient characteristics (age, ethnic background, hair thickness, chemical treatment of hair, smoking, and body mass index), efficacy (including severity and pattern of hair loss, tolerance of the device and satisfaction) and follow-up information on hair growth 6 months after the end of the treatment.

The video from the homepage of the CHILL website

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