Alopecia (hair loss) is experienced by thousands of cancer patients every year. Substantial-to-severe alopecia is induced by anthracyclines (e.g., adriamycin), taxanes (e.g., taxol), alkylating compounds (e.g., cyclophosphamide), and the topisomerase inhibitor etoposide, agents that are widely used in the treatment of leukemias and breast, lung, ovarian, and bladder cancers. Currently, no treatment appears to be generally effective in reliably preventing this secondary effect of chemotherapy. We observed in experiments using different rodent models that localized administration of heat or subcutaneous/intradermal injection of geldanamycin or 17-(allylamino)-17- demethoxygeldanamycin induced a stress protein response in hair follicles and effectively prevented alopecia from adriamycin, cyclophosphamide, taxol, and etoposide. Model tumor therapy experiments support the presumption that such localized hair-saving treatment does not negatively affect chemotherapy efficacy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology