The cancer treatments (T) bring with it body image challenges, causing low self-esteem and contributing to worsen the quality of life. Chemotherapy (CT)-induced hair loss (HL) is one of the most emotionally distressing side effects of several breast cancer (BC) T. The DigniCap system (DCS), using the scalp cooling system, has been shown to reduce CT-induced alopecia (A) in a multicenter prospective trial. The purpose of this prospective observational study was to describe our experience.
Two DCS device are available at the Brindisi Oncology Dpt. From February 2016 and May 2018, 86 consecutive early stage BC pts who received anthracycline and/or taxane-based T were enrolled. A nurse and a psychologist were dedicated for these pts. Success of scalp cooling was defined according to the Dean’s scale: G0= no HL; G1 < 25% HL; G2=25–50% HL; G3=50–75% HL; G4 >75% HL.
A total of 86 women were included in the following T cohorts: n = 37 (43%) received 4 courses of EC (IV) on day 1, with 21 days between cycles) followed by 12 courses of weekly Paclitaxel (P); n = 39 (45%) received only 4 courses of EC and n = 10 pts (12%) P and concurrent weeklyTrastuzumab for 12 consecutive doses. Median age was 48 years (range 31-74). Overall success (G0-G2) was observed in 61 pts (71%). Full preservation of the hair (G0) was observed in 16 pts (19%), G1 in 31 pts (36%) and G2 in 14 pts (16%) (tab 1). Most frequent scalp cooling-related symptoms were: coldness (n = 70, 81%) and headache (n = 60, 70%). Overall, 11% (n = 9) of pts discontinued DCS because of unsatisfactory hair preservation (n = 5, 6%) and cold discomfort (n = 2; 2.5%). Furthermore, we observed a hair growth when DCS was continued for pts with A G3 – G4.Table: 1795P
|N (%)||16 (19%)||31(36%)||14(16%)||20 (23%)||5 (6%)|
Tab 1: A/HL
Our results reinforced previous evidences, showing that DCS is a good chance to prevent A during CT with anthracycline and/or taxane-based regimen and supported the wider use to all women with early stage BC.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Has not received any funding.
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.