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UCSF Cancer Patients Testing Scalp-Cooling Cap That Can Prevent Chemotherapy Hair Loss

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Cancer patients in San Francisco are testing out a device that can allow them to avoid the tell-tale sign of their condition – hair loss.

The University of California, San Francisco is holding a clinical trial of headwear that cools patients' scalps to reduce or even eliminate the hair-loss side effect of chemotherapy.

The DigniCap is made by a Swedish company Dignitana and is being tested for approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The tight-fitting cap is worn by chemo patients and connected to a machine that lowers the scalp temperature to just above freezing, contracting the blood vessels around the hair roots which prevent the cancer drugs from being absorbed into the follicles.

According to Dignitana, eight out of 10 cancer patients in Europe and Asia retained their hair using the device.

The devices could be on the U.S. market by next year.

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