Thursday, November 4, 2010

Scalp Cooling to Prevent Chemotherapy Hair Loss

We have received a number of questions about scalp cooling with ice or gel caps to prevent hair loss during chemotherapy. We have researched some literature and found an article which has reviewed a number of studies relating to Scalp Cooling During Chemotherapy. We suggest that if you are interested in this that you refer to the full article we highlight and reference in this blog piece. The article is entitled “Prevention of Chemotherapy-Induced Hair Loss by Scalp Cooling” by E. G. Grevelman and W.P.M. Breed of the Netherlands, and was published by the Annals of Oncology on January 10, 2005. This article is available on line and can be accessed by clicking here. The abstract from this article is shown below:

Background: Chemotherapy-induced temporary hair loss is one of the most common and distressing side-effects of cancer therapy. Scalp cooling to reduce this hair loss is a controversial issue for many doctors and nurses. This may be due to inadequate knowledge.
Methods: This review from 53 publications and three personal communications focuses on the efficacy of the treatment, side-effects, possible disadvantages and the controversies in these areas.
Results: Scalp cooling has become an increasingly effective method to prevent hair loss, especially when anthracyclines or taxanes are used. Unfortunately, many studies were small and badly designed and are therefore difficult to compare. There is a considerable variation in the success rates in the various studies. This remains unexplained, but the cooling time, the chemotherapy used and the temperature seem to be influential. Scalp cooling should not be used if chemotherapy is given with a curative intent in patients with generalised haematogenic metastases. The majority of patients tolerate cooling very well.
Conclusion: Based on the results of these studies, scalp cooling should be applied more. However, it is not possible to advise on the optimum application of the cooling methods (system, duration and temperature). Careful application of the cooling cap might be more important than the cooling system itself. In addition, scalp cooling is effective but not for all chemotherapy patients. Further psychological, clinical and biophysical research is needed to determine exact indications for cooling and to improve the effect, tolerance, side-effects and the cooling procedure. Multicentre trials should be carried out to gather this information.

On our website we sell several products that can help people who are dealing with chemotherapy hair loss. We sell shampoos that can help to reduce or prevent hair loss during chemotherapy, and if the hair has already fallen out, we have some products that can help to cleanse the scalp and the hair follicles. Please refer to our website for information about the Thymuskin Product line, the Anasazzi Hair Care line, and Alra Shampoo.