Treatment of Chemotherapy-Induced Alopecia

    July 2011 in “ Dermatologic Therapy
    Caroline E. Yeager, Elise A. Olsen
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    TLDR Scalp cooling can prevent chemotherapy-induced hair loss, and certain treatments can speed up hair regrowth, but more research is needed for better treatments.
    The 2011 document addresses the issue of chemotherapy-induced alopecia (CIA), emphasizing the psychological distress it causes and the need for better treatment options. Scalp cooling has been effective in preventing CIA in most randomized trials, while 2% topical minoxidil has been shown to accelerate hair regrowth after chemotherapy, although it does not prevent hair loss. A phase II clinical study with 58 patients showed that the immunomodulator AS101 significantly decreased hair loss severity. However, there is a concern about permanent CIA, especially with certain breast cancer treatments, with some response to 5% topical minoxidil in these cases. The document also points out the lack of standardized methods for evaluating hair loss and regrowth, suggesting Olsen's scale as a more quantitative alternative. Despite some progress, the document concludes that more research and human trials are needed to develop better treatments for CIA.
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