Reduced hair loss and improved quality of life in chemotherapy?

Psychooncology. 2002 May-Jun;11(3):244-8.

Pulsed electrostatic fields (ETG) to reduce hair loss in women undergoing chemotherapy for breast carcinoma: a pilot study.

Benjamin B, Ziginskas D, Harman J, Meakin T.

St. Marks Breast Centre, 10 St. Marks Road, Remuera, Auckland, New Zealand.


AIMS: To determine whether specific pulsed electrostatic fields, or electrotrichogenesis (ETG), could potentially prevent or reduce hair loss in patients undergoing adjuvant cyclophosphamide, methotrexate and 5-fluorouracil (CMF) chemotherapy for breast cancer.

METHODS: Thirteen women were followed during their adjuvant ETG and chemotherapy treatment to determine the efficacy of ETG. All patients were treated for 12 min, twice weekly with a pulsed electrostatic field. Quantitative hair loss was measured by photographic assessment, and manual hair count. Quality of life assessment was conducted at the end of the study.

RESULTS: Twelve out of 13 participants had good hair retention throughout the chemotherapy period and afterwards. There were no reported side effects attributable to ETG.

CONCLUSIONS: This study shows encouraging results in an area where no other appropriate treatment is available Reducing alopecia, secondary to chemotherapy has the potential to increase CMF treatment compliance, enhance patient self-esteem, and improve overall quality of life during this stressful period.