A new website, scalpcooling.org will serve as a global hub for patients and care providers seeking information about hair loss and scalp cooling, as well as a decision aid with data from the CHILL registry showing chances of hair loss with and without scalp cooling. With an estimated 14.1 million patients diagnosed with cancer worldwide in 2012 (according to World Cancer Research Fund International), cancer is a significant global health issue affecting every region and socioeconomic group. The CHILL Registry strives to become a platform that allows clinicians to understand cancer-related hair loss during leading edge cancer therapies, improve supportive care by comparing their own data with international estimates, and access the extensive resources of comprehensive cancer treatment teams around the world. “Scalp cooling is well-recognised around the globe as a therapeutic solution to one of the most troublesome side effects of chemotherapy,” said CHILL Executive Board Member Dr. Corina van den Hurk, Netherlands Comprehensive Cancer Organisation. “The launch of the CHILL Registry is a significant step forward as we work together to develop best practices in supportive care.”
CHILL has designed an online registry that makes communication and global research accessible to all health care professionals interested in using scalp cooling with their chemotherapy patients. The registry collects data about severity of hair loss of patients with and without scalp cooling. For patients undergoing treatment with scalp cooling, physicians can also gather information on tolerance and satisfaction with the results of treatment.
As scalp cooling results vary depending on several factors, the CHILL Registry amasses information including:
- Clinical: type and dose of chemotherapy, infusion time, post-infusion cooling time
- Patient characteristics: age, ethnic background, hair thickness, chemical treatment of hair, smoking, body mass index
- Efficacy: severity and pattern of hair loss, and in case of scalp cooling: tolerance and satisfaction
- Follow up information: dependent on availability and willingness of patient to be contacted six months after treatment to evaluate hair growth and results to determine incidence of persistence hair loss
This unique initiative was launched at the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) conference June 22-24, 2017 in Washington, DC. The clinicians spearheading the CHILL registry and serving as the CHILL Executive Board include:
- Corina van den Hurk, PhD, Epidemiologist, Netherlands Comprehensive Cancer Organisation (IKNL) – Netherlands
- Annie Young, PhD, Professor of Nursing, University of Warwick and University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust – Coventry, United Kingdom
- Frances Boyle, AM, MBBS (Hons 1), PhD Pharmacology, FRACP (Medical Oncology), Professor of Medical Oncology and Director of Patricia Richie Center for Cancer Care and Research, Patricia Ritchie Centre for Cancer Care and Research, Mater Hospital and University of Sydney – Sydney, Australia
- Hope Rugo, MD, Clinical Professor, Department of Medicine (Hematology/Oncology) and Director, Breast Oncology Clinical Trials Program, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center – San Francisco, California, United States
- Mario Lacouture, MD, Director, Oncodermatology Program, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center – New York, New York, United States
- Julie Winstanley, PhD, MSc, CStat, CSci and Associate Professor, Patricia Ritchie Centre for Cancer Care and Research, Mater Hospital and University of Sydney – Sydney, Australia
Positive results from two separate multi-centre clinical trials on scalp cooling were published in February 2017 by The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Both US tudies of breast cancer patients using the DigniCap and Paxman scalp cooling devices found that a majority of patients achieved favourable results from scalp cooling treatments to prevent hair loss.
The scalp cooling medical device features a tight-fitting silicone cooling cap that is placed directly on the head, and an outer neoprene cap that insulates and secures the silicone cap. The cooling cap is connected to a cooling and control unit. A liquid coolant circulates throughout the silicone cap, delivering consistent and controlled cooling to all areas of the scalp. Once the cap is fitted to the head, the temperature of the scalp skin is significantly lowered, resulting in vasoconstriction with reduced delivery of chemotherapy to the scalp skin, as well as reduced cellular uptake of drugs due to decreased intra-follicular metabolic rate. Together, these factors minimise the hair loss that is a side effect of many chemotherapy agents.