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Warwick Nursing Professor helps launch international database aimed at reducing hair loss for chemotherapy patients

Professor Annie YoungA University of Warwick nursing professor is one of six globally-recognised cancer care experts launching a new database aimed at reducing hair loss in chemotherapy patients.

This data will be used to establish best practices around the maximum effectiveness of scalp cooling to help reduce hair loss in patients undergoing chemotherapy. A new website, scalpcooling.org will serve as a global hub for patients and care providers seeking information about the treatment.

Annie Young, Professor of Nursing at the University of Warwick and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, is working with an organisation known as CHILL, Cancer-related Hair Loss, International Leadership and Linkage.

CHILL has designed an online registry that makes communication and global research accessible to all health care professionals interested in using scalp cooling therapeutics with their chemotherapy patients. The registry collects data about severity of hair loss of patients with and without scalp cooling. For patients undergoing treatment with scalp cooling technology, physicians can also gather information on tolerance and satisfaction with the results of treatment.

The scalp cooling medical device features a tight-fitting silicone cooling cap that is placed directly on the head, and an outer neoprene cap that insulates and secures the silicone cap. The cooling cap is connected to a cooling and control unit. A liquid coolant circulates throughout the silicone cap, delivering consistent and controlled cooling to all areas of the scalp. Once the cap is fitted to the head, the temperature of the scalp is lowered to be just above freezing temperature, resulting in vasoconstriction with reduced delivery of chemotherapy to the scalp, as well as reduced cellular uptake of drugs due to decreased intra-follicular metabolic rate. These factors together minimize the hair loss that is a side effect of many chemotherapy agents.

Professor Young said: “Hair loss in patients having chemotherapy can be devastating on top of cancer treatment. Our patients want to use scalp cooling and we need to ensure best practices are developed to improve patients’ quality of life and make it accessible to all.”

CHILL has announced at the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) conference in Washington, USA, an initiative to collect and track evidence-based patient information and clinical guidance on cancer related hair loss.

“Scalp cooling is well-recognized around the globe as a therapeutic solution to one of the most troublesome side effects of chemotherapy,” said CHILL Chairperson Dr. Corina van den Hurk, Netherlands Comprehensive Cancer Organisation. “The launch of the CHILL Registry is a significant step forward as we work together to develop best practices in patient care.”

As scalp cooling results vary depending on several factors, the CHILL Registry amasses information including:

  • · Clinical: type and dose of chemotherapy, infusion time, post-infusion cooling time
  • · Patient characteristics: age, hair thickness, smoking, body mass index
  • · Follow up information: availability and willingness of patient to be contacted six months after treatment to evaluate hair growth and results

Positive results from two separate multi-center FDA clinical trials on scalp cooling were published in February 2017 by The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Recent US studies of breast cancer patients using the DigniCap and Paxman scalp cooling devices found that a majority of patients achieved favourable results from scalp cooling treatments to prevent hair loss.

THE CHILL Registry is funded by Dignitana, maker of The DigniCap® Scalp Cooling System and Paxman Coolers, maker of the Paxman Scalp Cooler.

29 June 2017

Contacts:

  • Nicola Jones, Media Relations Manager, University of Warwick:

T: 07920531221

E: N dot Jones dot 1 at warwick dot ac dot uk

  • Tom Frew - Senior Press and Media Relations Manager:

T: +44(0)7785433155

E: a dot t dot frew at warwick dot ac dot uk