Paxman, which has been helping patients deal with the adverse impact of cancer treatment, has won the Partnership with Academia Award for its research into “scalp cooling” with the University of Huddersfield. The two-year project presented innovative ways in which patient care could be improved, helping the efficacy of scalp cooling in order to prevent hair loss as a result of chemotherapy treatment.
Hair loss is considered by many as the most distressing aspect of cancer treatment in the way it impacts on everyday life. Scalp cooling is a process that helps reduce hair loss and in, in many cases, provide complete hair preservation.
The 24-month partnership between Paxman and academics at the University of Huddersfield’s Department of Biological Sciences sought to identify the ways in which the body reacts to scalp cooling in order to help patients hopefully keep their hair. The result of this work has been a reduction in scalp cooling times, therefore patients have to spend less time in hospital following treatment. This is not only beneficial to patients but has increased the number of people that can be seen each day.
The research has also had a wider impact on the medical community, notably enhancing the credibility of scalp cooling and helping reduce fears amongst clinicians about such treatment. The results of the work undertaken by Paxman and the University of Huddersfield have now been exhibited and discussed at exhibitions and conferences worldwide.
From a technological point of view, the most interesting aspect of the project is the introduction of a cooling cap system that better fits different head shapes and can be tailored to variables arising from ethnic requirements. Indeed, the latest model utilises 3D printing technology which is already paving the way for the mass production of silicone-based sheet technology. This new design has increased Paxman’s output from 200 to 2,000 caps per month, reducing costs along the way.
These efficiencies, which include increased production capacity and improved performance, will potentially help scalp cooling become a universal norm, contributing to a significant drop in cancer patients losing their hair during treatment.