Supportive cancer care experts have launched a new website that will allow patients and caregivers around the world to share their experiences with scalp cooling to reduce chemotherapy-induced hair loss.
The initiative, launched by CHILL (Cancer-related Hair Loss, International Leadership and Linkage), aims to collect and organize data from the myriad different chemotherapy regimens worldwide in order to establish clinical best practices and ensure maximum effectiveness of scalp cooling.
The initiative is supported by the manufacturers of two scalp cooling product, Paxman and Dignitana.
“There are many variables, and they are increasing all the time,” CHILL executive board member Corina van den Hurk, PhD, Netherlands Comprehensive Cancer Organization, Utrecht, told Medscape Medical News.
“For instance, when we looked, we found that there were more than 30 different scoring methods used in different studies about scalp cooling. This is just an example of how variable the information is, but if we collate all of these data we can present them to patients and doctors in a more useful way, to help inform their treatment decisions,” she said.
Dr van den Hurk announced the CHILL registry website at the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) conference, which was held in June in Washington, DC.
Also on the executive board are Hope Rugo, MD, from UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, California; Mario Lacouture, MD, from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City; and Julie Winstanley, PhD, MSc, from the Patricia Ritchie Centre for Cancer Care and Research, Mater Hospital and University of Sydney, Australia.
Scalp cooling has been used in Europe to palliate chemotherapy-induced hair loss in women with breast cancer since the 1970s.
In 2015, the DigniCap scalp cooling system (Dignitana) became the first scalp cooling device to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), followed by FDA approval in 2017 of the Paxman Scalp Cooling System. Both products were approved for reducing hair loss in patients with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy.
Just weeks ago, the FDA approved the DigniCap system to prevent hair loss for all solid tumors
Scalp cooling constricts blood vessels in the scalp, which reduces the amount of chemotherapy that reaches cells in the hair follicles. The cooling also decreases the metabolic activity of the hair follicles and slows down cell division, making the scalp cells less affected by chemotherapy.
The following information will be available on the CHILL registry website:
- Clinical information, including type and dose of chemotherapy, infusion time, and postinfusion cooling time;
- Patient characteristics, including age, ethnic background, hair thickness, chemical treatment of hair, smoking, and body mass index;
- Efficacy, including severity and pattern of hair loss, and, where scalp cooling is used, tolerance and satisfaction; and
- Follow-up information 6 months after treatment to evaluate hair growth and determine incidence of persistent hair loss.