Minoxidil (Mx) as a prophylaxis of doxorubicin--induced alopecia

Ann Oncol. 1994 Oct;5(8):769-70. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.annonc.a058986.


Background: Minoxidil (Mx) is known to induce hair growth in men with male-pattern baldness. Based on this potential, the effectiveness of Mx 2% topical solution was evaluated in cancer patients (pts) to prevent doxorubicin-induced alopecia.

Patients and methods: 48 female pts with different types of solid tumors treated with doxorubicin-based chemotherapy in a dose range of 50-60 mg/m2/cycle were randomly assigned to receive Mx 2% topical solution or placebo.

Results: 88% and 92% of pts in both arms showed severe alopecia (p = ns). No adverse effects were observed.

Conclusion: In this study Mx 2% topical solution was non-toxic but was not effective in the prevention of chemotherapy-induced alopecia.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alopecia / chemically induced
  • Alopecia / prevention & control*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Doxorubicin / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Minoxidil / therapeutic use*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy


  • Minoxidil
  • Doxorubicin