Feasibility study to test scalp cooling device in breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy

January 31, 2016

The DigniCap?? system, developed by the Swedish company Dignitana, features a tight-fitting silicone cap that is placed directly on the head and an outer neoprene cap that insulates and secures the inner one. The cap is connected to a cooling and control unit with touch screen controls. A coolant circulates throughout the inner silicone layer, and the cap is designed to deliver consistent cooling to all areas of the scalp. The device features safety sensors that continuously monitor and optimize the treatment temperature.

When a cap is applied to the head, the temperature of the scalp is lowered and blood vessels surrounding the hair roots contract, resulting in a significant reduction of cytotoxins to the follicle. Reduced blood flow leaves a smaller amount of chemotherapy available for uptake in the cells, and the decreased temperature results in less absorption of and reduced effects from chemotherapy. These factors together reduce the risk of hair loss.

Melin said that a larger efficacy study would include patients with stage one or stage two breast cancer. "Basically, the Dignicap would be used for certain patients who have a moderate chance of their cancer recurring," she said.

Source: Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center