Introduction: Chemotherapy for breast cancer induces alopecia, representing a major source of patient distress. This study assesses whether a scalp-cooling device is effective in reducing chemotherapy-induced alopecia, and assesses adverse treatment effects.
Materials and methods: A prospective observational study including women with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy and scalp cooling using a Paxman device. The primary efficacy end points were: successful hair preservation (no hair loss; <30% hair loss not requiring a wig; or <50% hair loss not requiring a wig) at the completion of chemotherapy. Secondary end points included adverse effects such as headache, pain, nausea or dizziness.
Results: The study enrolled 131 participants. Mean patient age was 49.8 years; 74% received anthracycline/taxane-based chemotherapy and 26% received taxane-monotherapy based chemotherapy. Hair preservation was successful in 102 women who underwent scalp cooling (71.0%; 95% CI = 63-79%). Only adverse events related to device use were collected, representing 7% (95% CI = 3-11%) of cases.
Conclusions: Scalp cooling is effective in preventing hair loss among breast cancer patients undergoing standard chemotherapy treatment, and has minimal adverse effects.
Keywords: Alopecia; Breast cancer; Chemotherapy; Scalp cooling.
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