Dermatology Xagena

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Xagena Newsletter

Cancer: scalp cooling can prevent chemotherapy-induced alopecia

Chemotherapy-induced alopecia ( CIA ) is a highly distressing event for cancer patients. A study aimed to assess the efficacy of various interventions in the prevention of chemotherapy-induced alopecia.

Out of 691 articles retrieved, a total of eight randomized controlled trials and nine controlled clinical trials involving 1,098 participants ( 616 interventions and 482 controls ), were included in the final analyses.

Scalp cooling, scalp compression, a combination of cooling and compression, topical Minoxidil and Panicum miliaceum were used as interventions.

The participants were mainly breast cancer patients receiving Doxorubicin- or Epirubicin-containing chemotherapy.

Scalp cooling, which is the most popular preventive method, significantly reduced the risk of chemotherapy-induced alopecia ( RR = 0.38, 95% CI = 0.32-0.45 ), whereas topical 2% Minoxidil and other interventions did not significantly reduce the risk of chemotherapy-induced alopecia.

No serious adverse effects associated with scalp cooling were reported.

The results suggest that scalp cooling can prevent chemotherapy-induced alopecia in patients receiving chemotherapy. However, the long-term safety of scalp cooling should be confirmed in further studies. ( Xagena )

Shin H et, Int J Cancer 2015;136:E442-454