Published on 26. January 2021

Application of the cooling cap for hair preservation during chemotherapy

Head skin cooling during chemotherapy

At the Vivantes Breast Center, we offer our patients the possibility of hair preservation through scalp cooling. Chemotherapy-induced hair loss (alopecia) is often experienced as very stressful by patients. A new concept in combination with a new device has already led to good treatment results for many patients with good tolerance.

Treatment with the system involves sensor-controlled cooling of the scalp during intravenous administration of chemotherapy. The patient wears a silicone cap on his/her head, through which coolant from the device's climate unit circulates. Temperature sensors in the cap are used to maintain the correct scalp temperature.

The assumed mode of action is based on three mechanisms:

  1. Cooling causes local blood vessel constriction, thereby reducing the amount of drug that reaches the hair roots.
  2. The transport and uptake of the drug could be locally decreased by the low temperatures, thus reducing the drug concentration.
  3. Scalp cooling could reduce the metabolic conversion of the drug and thus its activity at the hair roots.

For these reasons, scalp cooling has the potential to protect hair roots from the toxic effects of therapeutics.

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