A New Device Can Prevent Hair Loss During Chemotherapy

Research health professionals at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have started a clinical study on a novel device that guarantees to decrease hair loss of individuals getting chemotherapy for breast cancer. The equipment, known as the DigniCap® System, performs by cooling the sufferer’s scalp. The clinical study will be lead at UCLA by Dr. Sara Hurvitz.

Usually the psychological stress of a breast cancer diagnosis is made more painful by the results of the chemotherapy required to deal with the cancer. Most observed outcomes of the chemotherapy treatment is hair loss. The community dishonor and psychological stress of losing their hair has even triggered some females to stay away from chemotherapy.

Hurvitz stated “The good results of the DigniCap® System could give patients a device that enhances quality of lifestyle for breast cancer sufferers while in the worst portion of their therapy, as a result could enhance the overall cancer therapy experience”.

The DigniCap® comprises of a silicone cover that will fit properly on the sufferer’s head and above that an external neoprene cap that protects the silicone cover. Both caps are linked to a chilling and control component that circulates a specific coolant throughout the internal cap to continually lower the temp of the sufferer’s scalp to just over freezing. This is performed slowly to reduce discomfort.

The system is applied to cool the sufferer’s scalp while they are getting chemotherapy medication. When the temp of the scalp is reduced, the blood vessels close to the roots of the hair contract, or develop smaller. That shrinkage decreases the blood circulation to the follicles of hair, so much less of the medicine can attain them. Generally the drug would harm the hair follicles and make the hair fall out. The decreased blood circulation from the scalp cooling decreases the quantity of medicine that gets to the follicle, thus decreasing or preventing harm to the hair follicle and protecting the sufferer’s hair.

Clinical study data from Asia and Europe has proven that eighty percent of females who applied this system were in a position to preserve their hair while in breast cancer chemotherapy, Hurvitz mentioned, “now that the FDA has accepted it for clinical trials in the US we have high expectations for assisting sufferers deal with the psychological and emotional stress that occurs with our therapy of their breast cancer.”

To take part in the clinical trial, sufferers must be minimum 18 years old and have a reported diagnosis of Stage I or II breast cancer, and should plan to finish chemotherapy inside six months of using conventional chemotherapy regimens specified in the trial protocol.