Scalp cooling system: efficacy varies with chemotherapy regimen

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  • The effectiveness of a sensor-controlled scalp cooling system, DigniCap, appears to depend on the type of chemotherapy regimen and the patient's age.
Why this matters
  • Hair loss is a common and very distressing adverse effect of chemotherapy, and effective preventive interventions are needed.
Study design
  • Prospective study that involved 55 women who receive neoadjuvant, adjuvant, or palliative chemotherapy for breast or gynecologic cancer; the goal was to evaluate the effectiveness of a sensor-controlled scalp cooling system (DigniCap) to prevent chemotherapy-induced alopecia.
  • Funding: None disclosed.
Key results
  • Overall level of effectiveness of the treatment (per World Health Organization alopecia grading system) was 56%, including patients who stopped treatment early.
  • The median score for patient satisfaction was 90%, and a satisfaction score of 80% or better was reported by 64%.
  • 72% of the patients would recommend the scalp-cooling treatment to other patients, 20% didn't know, and 8% would not recommend it.
  • Half of the cohort (52%) wore a head covering at some point during their treatment.
  • Multivariable analysis showed statistically significant predictors of minimal hair loss were younger age (P=.019) and treatment regimens with paclitaxel weekly (P=.012) and paclitaxel–carboplatin (P=.023).
  • No control group.