ABSTRACT

SCALP COOLING IN THE PREVENTION OF ALOPECIA IN PATIENTS RECEIVING DEPILATING CHEMOTHERAPY.

To assess any difference in the incidence of alopecia during treatment and of skull metastases during follow-up among breast cancer patients undergoing scalp cooling during chemotherapy and those treated at ambient temperatures. A series of 35 breast cancer patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy were consecutively assigned either to a scalp cooling regimen (19 patients) or to an ambient temperature regimen (16 patients). Hypothermia was administered with electrically cooled caps (SCS II: Amit Technology, Jerusalem) for 1 h after treatment. A significant difference (P = 0.014) was detected in theincidence of alopoecia: 48% (9 patients) of those who had undergone cooling suffered alopoecia, while 81% (13 patients) of the group who had not undergone cooling lost scalp hair. Patient comfort levels were high. Follow-up (median time 14 months) has disclosed no scalp metastases. The implementation of routine scalp hypothermia as part of adjuvant chemotherapy treatment, especially in cancers without tendencies to bone metastases, should be seriously considered.

Ron IG, Kalmus Y, Kalmus Z, Inbar M, Chaitchik S

Department of Oncology, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Centre, Israel.

Support Care Cancer; 5(2):136-8 1997