Chemotherapy-Induced Hair Loss: The Use of Biomarkers for Predicting Alopecic Severity and Treatment Efficacy

    January 2019 in “ Biomarker Insights
    Iain S. Haslam, Eleanor Smart
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    TLDR Scalp cooling to prevent hair loss from chemotherapy works for some but not all, and studying hair damage markers could improve prevention and treatment.
    The document from 2019 examines the distressing issue of chemotherapy-induced alopecia (CIA) and the use of scalp cooling technologies to prevent or reduce hair loss, which have a success rate of 50% to 71%. It suggests that the efficacy of scalp cooling varies and is not universally effective, highlighting the need for better treatments. The article proposes that analyzing biomarkers of hair follicle damage post-chemotherapy could shed light on the mechanisms of CIA and help predict the severity of hair loss and the success of treatments. It discusses the potential role of drug concentrations in hair follicles, apoptosis pathways, and the sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling pathway in CIA, as well as the impact of chemotherapy on cell proliferation and cell cycle inhibitors. The conclusion emphasizes the importance of understanding the molecular pathways involved in hair follicle damage and protection to improve or develop new strategies to prevent or minimize CIA.
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