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publicado em 14/12/2010 às 20h15:00
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Program cooling prevents hair loss caused by chemotherapy

System continuously cools the scalp during treatment with a coolant circulating in a gel capsule

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A University of California San Francisco, United States, are now testing a new device capable of fighting a devastating side effect of chemotherapy, hair loss.

A feasibility study of a cooling system of the scalp, will test the safety and efficacy of a device known as "DigniCap. The FDA recently approved a pilot study of Swedish equipment, which continuously cools the scalp of a patient during treatment using a coolant that circulates inside a gel capsule.

"The devices that prevent hair loss have the potential to make a huge difference for our patients," said study co-leader, Laura Esserman. "If we can prevent hair loss, so our patients can avoid one of the most emotionally difficult side effects of chemotherapy and feared."

The process to test a cap is relatively simple and inexpensive. By cooling the scalp, the blood vessels around the hair roots constrict, resulting in a significant reduction of cytotoxins to the follicle. With the reduction of blood flow, less chemotherapy is available for cellular uptake, while at the same time, lower temperatures result in less absorption of chemicals.

Hair loss caused by chemotherapy is considered one of the most feared and traumatic side effects of cancer treatment.

"Almost all of the standard chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer at an early stage cause hair loss," said the study's principal investigator, Hope S. Rugo. "Every day, I sit in front of women diagnosed with breast cancer for which the inevitability of losing their hair is a painful and distressing emotional perspective. By helping to identify devices that may reduce hair loss, have the potential to impact the quality of life for patients. "

Historically cooling systems have been used in the United States amid concerns that the cooling of the scalp may allow cancer cells to hide on the scalp. But according to the researchers, the incidence of metastases to the scalp in patients with breast cancer is extremely low.

The first study is being carried out the feasibility study of the device is designed to test how well patients tolerate the device. In the study, a tight cap of silicone is placed directly in the head, a neoprene outer cover is placed on top to insulate and protect the inside cover. Both are connected to a cooling unit and control with touchscreen controls. A coolant circulates through the inner layer of silicon, providing a consistent cooling for the entire scalp.

After the feasibility study with 20 patients, a larger study of 100 patients was planned

According to a survey by Dignitana, DigniCap system manufacturer, 8 in 10 women in Europe and Asia, which used the cooling system during chemotherapy kept their hair.

The "Hair to Stay", which assesses the safety of DigniCap, aims to alleviate major trauma, maintain dignity and restore self-esteem of patients suffering with cancer.


   Palavras-chave:   Hair loss    Chemotherapy    DigniCap    Hope S. Rugo    University of California - San Francisco   
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