Last updated on February 2018

Concomitant Limb Cryocompression and Scalp Cooling to Reduce Paclitaxel-induced Neuropathy and Alopecia


Brief description of study

Paclitaxel is a chemotherapy drug that is used to treat breast cancer, one of the most common cancers. It causes two side effects very often - hair-loss and numbness. Until recently, there have been no known ways to prevent or treat either side effect. Recently, cooling of the scalp to prevent hair loss caused by paclitaxel was approved. Our team is developing a method to prevent numbness caused by paclitaxel by using a device that cools the arms and the legs, while applying mild pressure, and this technique is called cryocompression. As scalp cooling use in day-to-day cancer care increases, future studies involving cryocompression to treat neuropathy must take this into account, lest patients be denied or are required to trade-off one treatment for the other. However, there is concern of causing a reduction in core body temperature, which would not be safe or a general intolerance to this treatment. Both scalp cooling and limb cryocompression individually have not shown to cause this, but simultaneous use has not been studied previously. Clinical safety studies, in healthy subjects and cancer patients would need to be conducted to prove this theory, which is being proposed by currently.

Detailed Study Description

Paclitaxel is a key chemotherapeutic agent used in the management of common cancers, such as breast cancer. Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) due to paclitaxel is a common dose-limiting toxicity with no effective prevention or treatment. Limb cryocompression is currently being developed as a method to reduce CIPN. Another common toxicity of paclitaxel is chemotherapy induced alopecia (CIA), for which scalp-cooling is currently an approved therapy to reduce the incidence of this adverse effect. As scalp cooling use in day-to-day clinical practice increases, future studies involving hypothermia to treat neuropathy must factor this into the treatment algorithm, lest patients be denied or are required to trade-off one treatment for the other. However, there is concern of causing core hypothermia and/or general intolerance to concomitant therapy. Both scalp-cooling and cryocompression individually have not shown to cause this, but simultaneous use has not been studied previously. Clinical safety studies, in healthy subjects and cancer patients would need to be conducted first, before larger efficacy studies are performed. We propose that we can deliver scalp-cooling and limb cryocompression with a single treatment modality to prevent two toxicities of paclitaxel - CIA and CIPN. This study will consist of two parts: A) Healthy subjects: To assess safety and tolerability of scalp and limb cryocompression, as well as to determine the optimal temperature and pressure to be used, that will contribute to the cryocompression protocol. The occurrence of core hypothermia or intolerance will be closely monitored B) Cancer patients: Once the optimal cryocompression protocol is established in healthy patients, a group of cancer patients will undergo concomitant limb cryocompression and scalp cooling over multiple cycles of chemotherapy to establish safety and tolerability of repeated therapy. Early clinical efficacy signal data will also be collected, to prepare for the subsequent larger randomized efficacy study.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03248193

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Recruitment Status: Open


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