Chemotherapy used for treating cancer patients targets rapidly dividing cells, such as those in the tumour. But it also attacks follicles, making the patients lose their hair, which merely adds to their troubles. Doctoral candidate Corina van den Hurk studied whether this could be avoided by cooling the scalp. By the time this Mare goes to print, she should have been awarded her title for her findings.
Her idea is straightforward: if you put a special cap on the patient, the blood vessels to the scalp are narrowed and less of the drug will affect the follicles. This treatment worked so well with half the patients they did not need to use a wig, which saves money. Nevertheless, it would kinda suck if this trick were to mean that the cancer spread to the scalp, but luckily the chances of that are small and Van den Hurk established that they are not increased by cooling the scalp. She is disappointed by the fact the many hospitals do not make optimal use of their scalp-cooling capacity.