Objectives To determine the efficacy of scalp cooling for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced alopecia specifically in the gynecology oncology patient population.
Methods This prospective pilot study included patients diagnosed with a gynecological malignancy that received DigniCapTMscalp cooling. Patients were divided into two groups based on chemotherapy regimen: Carboplatin with area under the curve (AUC) 5–6 every three weeks and (1) conventional Paclitaxel 175 mg/m2 every three weeks or (2) Paclitaxel 80 mg/m2 weekly. A 1–10 visual analogue scale (1- no hair loss, 10- complete hair loss) was used to assess degree of hair loss by patients themselves and by a certified dermatologist using photographs. Changes in quality of life and body image were measured using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer quality of life questionnaire version 3 (EORTC QLQ-C30) and the Body Image Scale (BIS) for cancer patients.
Results Hair preservation occurred with use of a scalp cooling device for patients receiving weekly Paclitaxel (n=20), but not conventional every three weeks Paclitaxel (n=8). Ten of 15 patients (66.7%) in the dose-dense group lost less than 50% of their hair based on self-assessment and 14 of 16 (87.5%) based on dermatologist assessment. No patient in this group acquired a wig. The quality of life (QoL) scoring had a trend towards worse QoL in the dose-dense group with a trend towards better BIS scores.
Conclusions Scalp cooling may allow for hair preservation in gynecology oncology patients receiving carboplatin AUC 5–6 and weekly paclitaxel 80 mg/m2 combination chemotherapy.
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