Efficacy of scalp cryotherapy in preventing alopecia among patients with breast cancer patients receiving adjuvant docetaxel and cyclophosphamide.

Patient and Survivor Care
Session Type and Session Title: 
This abstract will not be presented at the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting but has been published in conjunction with the meeting.
Abstract Number: 
J Clin Oncol 31, 2013 (suppl; abstr e20641)
Tessa Cigler, Barbara Fiederlein, Sarah E. Schneider, Ellen Chuang, Linda T. Vahdat, Diana Donovan, Roberto Welch, Marta E. Cobham, Anne Moore; Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY

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Abstract Disclosures


Background: Chemotherapy induced alopecia (CIA) is a distressing adverse effect of many chemotherapy agents. The TC chemotherapy regimen (four cycles of docetaxel 75mg/m2 and cyclophosphamide 600mg/m2 given every 3 weeks apart) commonly used for aduvant therapy of breast cancer is associated with complete alopecia, with rare reports of permanent alopecia. Scalp cryotherapy has been reported to minimize or prevent CIA. Penguin cold caps are a commercially available scalp cooling product gaining increasing media attention. We conducted a prospective study aimed to assess efficacy of scalp cryotherpy in preventing CIA among women receiving adjuvant TC chemotherapy for early stage breast cancer who independently elected to use Penguin cold caps. Methods: Women at the Weill Cornell Breast Center who elected to use scalp cryotherapy with Penguin cold caps during adjuvant TC chemotherapy were asked to participate in the study. Degree of hair loss was rated by practitioner assessment using Dean’s alopecia scale (poor (>75% hair loss), moderate (50-75%), good (25-50%) or excellent (<25%)), by digital photographs, and by asking patients whether they felt a need to wear a wig or head covering due to hair loss. Assessments were made before each chemotherapy treatment and at a follow up visit between 3 weeks and 3 months after the completion of chemotherapy. Results: 17 patients have enrolled. 13 patients have completed chemotherapy. 2 patients currently undergoing chemotherapy and 2 patients who discontinued chemotherapy due to toxicity not related to alopecia are excluded from analysis. Dean’s alopecia scale score was excellent for 10 patients (77%) at every assessment. Dean’s score was good for 2 participants (15%) and moderate for 1 participant (8%) starting prior to fourth cycle of chemotherapy. Only 1 patient (8%) reported needing to wear a wig or head covering as a result of alopecia. Conclusions: Scalp cryotherapy using Penguin cold caps appears to be effective in preventing CIA among women undergoing chemotherapy with the TC regimen.