Hair loss from chemotherapy, a distressing
side effect of cancer treatment, could be a thing of the past
if a gel under development shows promise in adults.
The clear ointment has been tested only on lab rats, but developers
said its effects are dramatic.
``We noticed a marked protection of the hair,'' said Stephen T.
Davis. ``It was just stunning.''
Davis, a scientist at Glaxo Wellcome, said the company hopes to
test the ointment on people, though he could not predict when
that will happen.
Cancer cells grow faster than normal tissue. Chemotherapy works
by killing cells that are rapidly dividing. An unintended side
effect is damage to the hair follicles, which also divide more
quickly than other parts of the body.
The Glaxo drug works by temporarily stopping the follicles from
dividing, shielding them from the effects of chemotherapy. The
effect wears off within a day and does not seem to make any difference
in long-term hair growth.
Ann's NOTE: An icebag on top of the head is said to have the effect of preventing hair loss. Dr. Larry Norton, Memorial Sloan Kettering told me he "thought it might interfere with chemotherapy". This was not based on evidence. Too bad the ice pack has NOT BEEN STUDIED.
10/02 My friends, see the study below on scalp-cooling. Tested in Europe and demonstrated to reduce hair loss with no 'mets' to the head!
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