Hair loss is a prevalent and worrisome side effect of chemotherapy. Scalp cooling is a clinically proven way to minimize chemotherapy-induced alopecia and help patients retain hair during treatment. By lowering a patient’s temperature, less blood flows to the scalp. Consequently, less chemotherapy is able to reach the hair cells. The cells that do not receive a full dose of chemotherapy are more likely to survive treatment.
There are two reactions that occur when the scalp is cooled. As the blood flow is reduced, vasoconstriction occurs. This limits the amount of chemotherapy agents that can reach the hair follicles. The second reaction that occurs is reduced metabolism. The low scalp temperature decelerates cellular activity. These reactions working in tandem limit the amount of chemotherapy that can access the hair follicles.
The DigniCap is run by a computerized cooling unit. This unit is managed via a touch screen display. A coolant continuously circulates through the channels in the caps. What sets DigniCap apart from other cooling systems, are the patented sensors that continuously regulate the scalp temperature throughout the treatment.
The software is designed to detect temperature deviations and makes adjustments based on sensor feedback. The gentle cool-down from room temperature to the target temperature provides a comfortable experience for the patient. In addition to continuous direct contact for cooling, there are four different cap sizes for a perfect fit. The cap is easily removable for bathroom breaks and has a built in sensor that prevents it from going under 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Many academic journals have published that the DigniCap Scalp Cooling System is a risk-free and successful way to prevent hair loss in chemotherapy patients with solid tumors. Out of a study testing 226 chemotherapy patients with solid tumors, 65% did not lose a significant amount of hair.
The DigniCap intercepted hair loss in 66% of breast cancer patients. On the other hand, all the patients in the control group experienced a considerable amount of hair loss. The treatment was received well and no scalp metastases were noted.
Many patients wish to know if there is a high correlation between DigniCap users and metastases in the scalp. Metastasis is when cancer spreads from the primary location to a secondary location on the body. A 2017 study published that breast cancer patients using the DigniCap were not less or more likely to develop metastases compared to the chemotherapy patients who were not using scalp cooling methods.