Data from a group of cancer care experts, to be known as CHILL, (Cancer-related Hair Loss, International Leadership and Linkage) will be used to establish clinical best practices to ensure maximum effectiveness of scalp cooling to minimise chemotherapy-induced hair loss.
Hair loss remains one of the most hated side-effects of chemotherapy. As we’ve covered many times on our pages, scalp cooling is increasingly advocated as a treatment. A liquid coolant circulates throughout a dedicated cap, delivering consistent and controlled cooling to all areas of the scalp. Resultant vasoconstriction with reduced delivery of chemotherapy to the scalp skin, as well as reduced cellular uptake of drugs due to decreased intra-follicular metabolic rate have been found to minimise the hair loss that is a side effect of many chemotherapy agents.
The challenge remains however to provide compelling supporting data, which is why CHILL has announced this new initiative. Launched in 2016, CHILL is a collaboration between cancer specialists in several countries to collect and share knowledge about the treatment and prevention of hair loss. CHILL maintains a new website, scalpcooling.org as well as a global registry to reflect the incidence of hair loss in daily clinical practise.
This platform facilitates the exchange of information among patients, physicians, nurses and researchers. Specifically the initiative is collecting and tracking evidence-based patient information and clinical guidance.
The online registry makes communication and global research accessible to all health care professionals interested in using scalp cooling with their chemotherapy patients.
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, ethnic background, hair thickness, chemical treatment of hair, smoking, body mass index
Efficacy: severity and pattern of hair loss, and in case of scalp cooling: tolerance and satisfaction
Follow up information: dependent on availability and willingness of patient to be contacted six months after treatment to evaluate hair growth and results to determine incidence of persistence hair loss
The registry collects data about severity of hair loss of patients with and without scalp cooling. For patients undergoing treatment with scalp cooling, physicians can also gather information on tolerance and satisfaction with the results of treatment.
“Scalp cooling is well-recognised around the globe as a therapeutic solution to one of the most troublesome side effects of chemotherapy,” said CHILL Executive Board Member 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 supportive care.”
The CHILL Registry is funded by Dignitana, maker of The DigniCap® Scalp Cooling System and Paxman, maker of the Paxman Scalp Cooling System.