The study concluded that the pioneering treatment should therefore be considered as a therapy for all women wishing to reduce the likelihood of alopecia caused by chemotherapy. Only ladies being treated with standard chemotherapy regimens for primary breast cancer including anthracyclines, cyclophosphamides and taxanes were enrolled in the study in order to standardize the analysis of the results. Results were based on patient self-assessment, a relevant method for determining the relative usefulness or worth of the procedure to patients themselves.
Alopecia is one of the most distressing adverse effects of chemotherapy.Ines Vasconcelos
“Alopecia is one of the most distressing adverse effects of chemotherapy,” said author Ines Vasconcelos. “Scalp-cooling devices have long been available, but their use has not become widespread. A combination of cost, questionable effectiveness and safety have played a decisive role in this lack of momentum however, long-term safety data shows that these devices are safe and that the risk of scalp metastasis is negligible. Our findings show that there is no doubt that the Paxman Scalp Cooler should be considered as a therapy for women wishing to reduce alopecia.”
Improving patients’ self-confidence
Hair loss is a well-known side effect of many chemotherapy regimens, with many men and women reporting it to be the most traumatic aspect of their treatment. Scalp cooling provides a proven alternative to hair loss, resulting in a high level of retention or even complete hair preservation, improving patients’ self-confidence and creating positive attitudes towards treatment. Scalp cooling works by lowering scalp temperature before, during and after the administration of chemotherapy. Liquid coolant passes through the cap extracting heat from the patient's scalp, ensuring the scalp remains at an even, constant temperature to minimise hair loss.
The Paxman Cooling System (also known as the 'cold cap') alleviates the damage caused to the hair follicles by chemotherapy. It works by reducing the temperature of the scalp by a few degrees immediately before, during and after the administration of chemotherapy. The Breast is an international, multidisciplinary journal for researchers and clinicians, which focuses on translational and clinical research for the advancement of breast cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all stages. The paper was written by clinicians Ines Vasconcelos, Alexandra Wiesske and Winfried Schoenegg.