WASHINGTON (July 22, 2013)—Researchers in the U.S. are about to test a method of averting hair loss, one of chemotherapy's most despised side effects, by giving the scalp a deep chill.
The notion is that cooling the scalp during chemotherapy slows blood flow, making it harder for cancer-fighting drugs to reach and harm hair follicles.
The approach is widely used in Europe and Canada, where several types of so-called cold caps are sold, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn't approved their use in this country.
The new study is considering whether it's time for that to change.
Researchers will begin recruiting 110 breast cancer patients this summer to strap on the DigniCap during their chemo sessions.
Photos of their hair will show how well the cap works.