Chemotherapy drugs are the scourge of many a cancer patient’s life. Absolutely necessary on the one hand, given their track record at helping patients to beat cancer, they nonetheless come with a very strong chance of making a patient’s hair fall out in clumps. At an excruciatingly difficult time in their lives, having to deal with some often extreme hair loss is the last thing that anyone with cancer wants.
Steps to reduce hair loss during cancer treatment have been made over the past few decades, most notably in the form of a scalp-cooling device called a cold cap, which helps to prevent the chemotherapy drugs from attacking the hair follicles. It has proved helpful in a great many instances.
Using AI to reduce hair loss
Now, science is ready to move things up a gear with a new cancer drug designed using Artificial Intelligence which, it is hoped, means that chemotherapy-induced hair loss can be reduced if the drug makes it to market.
The drug in question is the brainchild of Boston-based pharmaceutical company BERG, who announced this week that their phase 1 study into the drug (topical calcitriol – BPM 31543) showed it to be safe and well-tolerated by patients, with initial signs of its efficacy.
“Many cancer patients that are treated by chemotherapy encounter hair loss or alopecia as a major side effect,” they told the media, “which can lead to significant psychosocial and quality of life issues. BERG’s topical compound BPM 31543 was developed to reduce chemotherapy-induced alopecia.”
Their approach uses Artificial Intelligence algorithms to help design new drugs. As they put it: “The BERG Interrogative Biology platform integrates molecular data directly from a patient with clinical and demographic information to map the patient’s disease state. The platform has the potential to provide the physician with actionable information to recommend efficient and safe treatment pathways.”
Hair loss can be devastating
When people do lose hair to chemotherapy drugs, they frequently describe it as devastating given it is such a visible sign of their illness.
Women in particular find such a dramatic change to their appearance hard to deal with, prompting a number of hospitals around the country to offer counselling and advice on how best to wear scarves and other accessories. Support is also offered by organisations such as Alopecia UK, and Breast Cancer Care, whose HeadStrong service has been a boon to a great many women.
Shedding caused by chemotherapy drugs is usually temporary and the hair will generally grow back of its own accord within around a year after treatment has stopped. However, where desired, this regrowth process may be accelerated with the help of a specialist hair loss clinic.
A personalised hair loss treatment course can be tailored to the specific needs of the individual and ensure that the scalp is in the best possible condition for new hair to regrow.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.