The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared a cooling cap—a device designed to reduce hair loss during chemotherapy—for use by patients with any kind of solid tumor. FDA initially cleared the device, the DigniCap® Scalp Cooling System, for patients with breast cancer in 2015. The expanded clearance of DigniCap is for “reducing the frequency and severity of hair loss” in adult patients with solid tumors who are receiving chemotherapy types and doses that are associated with this common side effect.
Scalp cooling, which has been used in Europe for several decades, is thought to prevent hair loss by reducing blood flow to hair follicles. Cooling the scalp causes blood vessels to constrict, which may limit the amount of chemotherapy drug that reaches hair follicles.
The DigniCap system uses a tightly fitted cap in which cold liquid circulates to cool the scalp before, during, and after chemotherapy. This cap, which is connected to a machine that regulates the cooling process, is covered by an outer cap, made of neoprene, that acts as an insulator.
The average total cost of scalp cooling ranges between $1,500 and $3,000 per patient, depending on the number of cycles of chemotherapy. Insurance does not currently cover scalp cooling treatments, according to the maker of DigniCap, Dignitana Inc., of Sweden.
For the full article, see the following link published by the National Cancer Institute.