A Clinical and Biological Guide for Understanding Chemotherapy-Induced Alopecia and Its Prevention

    September 2017 in “Oncologist
    Christopher Dunnill, W. Al-Tameemi, Andrew Collett, Iain S. Haslam, Nikolaos T. Georgopoulos
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    TLDR Scalp cooling can help prevent chemotherapy-induced hair loss with a 50-90% success rate and is safe for patients.
    The document reviews chemotherapy-induced alopecia (CIA) and the effectiveness of scalp cooling as a preventive measure. It explains how chemotherapy drugs target rapidly dividing cells, including those in hair follicles, leading to hair loss. The severity of CIA depends on the chemotherapy drug, dosage, and treatment schedule. Scalp cooling is highlighted as the only FDA-cleared method to prevent CIA, with a 50% chance of helping patients maintain enough hair to avoid a wig. The review cites studies, including one with 1,411 patients, showing that scalp cooling is effective, with success rates between 50% and 90%. It is well-tolerated by patients and does not increase the risk of scalp metastases. The document also discusses various other potential treatments and the need for more research to improve CIA prevention strategies. However, the document does not provide specific data on the number of people involved in all studies, limiting the assessment of evidence strength.
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