Published in

MDPI, Cancers, 15(13), p. 3915, 2021

DOI: 10.3390/cancers13153915



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Effect of Scalp Cooling on the Pharmacokinetics of Paclitaxel

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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Chemotherapy-induced alopecia (CIA), a side effect with high impact, can be prevented by cooling the scalp during the administration of some cytotoxic drugs. However, the effects of this prolonged scalp cooling on the pharmacokinetics of chemotherapy have never been investigated. In this study, we compared the pharmacokinetics of the widely used chemotherapeutic agent paclitaxel (weekly dose of 80–100 mg/m2) in female patients with solid tumors using concomitant scalp cooling (n = 14) or not (n = 24). Blood samples were collected in all patients for pharmacokinetic analyses up to 6 h after one course of paclitaxel administration. The primary endpoint was the clearance (L/h) of paclitaxel. Paclitaxel clearance—expressed as relative difference in geometric means—was 6.8% (90% CI: −16.7% to 4.4%) lower when paclitaxel was administered with concomitant scalp cooling versus paclitaxel infusions without scalp cooling. Within the subgroup of patients using scalp cooling, paclitaxel clearance was not statistically significantly different between patients with CIA (alopecia grade 1 or 2) and those without CIA. Hence, scalp cooling did not negatively influence the clearance of paclitaxel treatment.