Medline ® Abstract for Reference 26
Sensor-controlled scalp cooling to prevent chemotherapy-induced alopecia in female cancer patients.
Fehr MK, Welter J, Sell W, Jung R, Felberbaum R
Curr Oncol. 2016;23(6):e576.
BACKGROUND: Scalp cooling has been used since the 1970s to prevent chemotherapy-induced alopecia, one of the most common and psychologically troubling side effects of chemotherapy. Currently available scalp cooling systems demonstrate varying results in terms of effectiveness and tolerability.
METHODS: For the present prospective study, 55 women receiving neoadjuvant, adjuvant, or palliative chemotherapy were enrolled. The aim was to assess the effectiveness of a sensor-controlled scalp cooling system (DigniCap: Sysmex Europe GmbH, Norderstedt, Germany) to prevent chemotherapy-induced alopecia in breast or gynecologic cancer patients receiving 1 of 7 regimens. Clinical assessments, satisfaction questionnaires, and alopecia evaluations [World Health Organization (who) grading for toxicity]were completed at baseline, at each cycle, and at completion of chemotherapy.
RESULTS: Of the 55 patients, 78% underwent scalp cooling until completion of chemotherapy. In multivariate analysis, younger women and those receiving paclitaxel weekly or paclitaxel-carboplatin experienced less alopecia. The compound successful outcome ("no head covering" plus "who grade 0/1") was observed in all patients 50 years of age and younger receiving 4 cycles of docetaxel-cyclophosphamide or 6 cycles of paclitaxel-carboplatin. Conversely, alopecia was experienced by all women receiving triplet polychemotherapy (6 cycles of docetaxel-doxorubicin-cyclophosphamide). For women receiving sequential polychemotherapy regimens (3 cycles of fluorouracil-epirubicin-cyclophosphamide followed by 3 cycles of docetaxel or 4 cycles of doxorubicin-cyclophosphamide followed by 4 cycles of docetaxel), the subgroup 50 years of age and younger experienced a 43% success rate compared with a 10% rate for the subgroup pf older women receiving the same regimens.
CONCLUSIONS: The ability of scalp cooling to prevent chemotherapy-induced alopecia varies with the chemotherapy regimen and the age of the patient. Use of a compound endpoint with subjective and objective measures provides insightful and practical information when counselling patients.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Cantonal Hospital Frauenfeld, Switzerland.