BOCA RATON, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Photobiomodulation therapy, or low-level light therapy (LLLT), has been shown to accelerate hair recovery by 2.6x in patients with chemotherapy-induced alopecia (CIA), according to preliminary findings of an ongoing, randomized clinical trial about the effects of red light on hair growth in female breast cancer patients. The results were presented on Friday, April 7 at the 37th Annual Conference of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery in San Diego.
“We wondered whether photobiomodulation therapy with red light could speed up the recovery of these patients by stimulating hair growth,” said Dr. Istvan Stadler, surgical laser research scientist at Rochester General Hospital in Rochester, New York.
“Previous studies using self-administered red light treatments with the iGrow Hair Growth System showed significant improvements for pattern baldness in both men and women who used the device, leading to FDA clearance for this indication,” noted Dr. Raymond J. Lanzafame, CME director for the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, and researcher and consultant in the field of lasers and light applications in medicine. “We hypothesized that a similar treatment strategy might be capable of stimulating hair growth in chemotherapy patients. The early results were more dramatic than we had expected.”
The study included female subjects with breast cancer, ranging in age from 20 to 60, who had completed adjuvant chemotherapy one to four weeks prior. Patients were randomly assigned to either the active laser and LED group or the placebo group. The active group received a bicycle-helmet-like apparatus, similar to the iGrow, containing 5mW lasers and 30 LEDs. The placebo group received a device identical in appearance, but containing only incandescent lights. The patients used these devices at home for 25 minutes every other day, and returned for follow-up and photography of their scalp at three and six months.
After 24 weeks, patients in the active group demonstrated a 2.6x increase in hair counts.
Approximately one in eight women in the U.S. (almost 12 percent) will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. In 2017, an estimated 252,170 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S. Many of these cancer patients will receive adjuvant chemotherapy as part of their treatment, and may experience the common side effect of hair loss. Hair typically begins to slowly recover approximately six weeks after a patient’s last treatment.
“The results of this study are extremely encouraging,” said Jeff Braile, president of Apira Science, maker of the iGrow, which provided the active and placebo devices for all patients. “We’ve known for some time that red light effectively treats androgenetic alopecia, but to witness that it can have a similar effect on chemotherapy-induced hair loss is groundbreaking. Hair loss as a result of breast cancer treatment can take an emotional toll on patients already going through a tough time, and we’re grateful that we can alleviate some of that burden.”
The study is ongoing. Patients interested in participating can call 585-266-2150.
About Apira Science, Inc.
Apira Science, Inc. has pioneered low-level light therapy (LLLT) for over a decade. Its iGrow Hair Growth System draws on its expertise and innovations in the application of LLLT to deliver a simple, safe, and effective hair growth treatment. For more information, visit www.igrowlaser.com.