New clinical trial at Montefiore can save hair for those going through cancer treatment

A clinical trial at Montefiore is testing out a new technique for women of color that can save their hair during cancer treatment.

News 12 Staff

Oct 15, 2022, 2:29 AM

Updated 631 days ago

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A new clinical trial at Montefiore is testing out a new technique for women of color that can save their hair during cancer treatment.  
When Alta Grace Pelissier received her life-changing breast cancer diagnosis in June, she was sent to Montefiore for treatment.  
“I had friends who passed through this problem, and they said it’s not easy,” said Pelissier. “I have a friend who was losing her hair – it was terrible.” 
But through a clinical trial for women who are at high risk for permanent chemotherapy-induced alopecia, Pelissier may see an entirely different outcome.  
The trial is a different approach to “scalp cooling” – wetting a patient’s hair & putting on a cap so the scalp is cold and the chemo cannot reach the hair follicles.  
For Black and Latina women whose hair volumizes with just water, that method doesn’t work as well.  
This method, according to Montefiore health care worker Beth McClellan, coats the hair with more than just water, using conditioner and loosely twisting or braiding the patient’s hair.  
The goal is to not only help these women keep their luscious locks, but to bring equity to cancer treatment and the aftermath of it.  
Pelissier is the first patient in this trial, and has just received her second dose of treatment at Montefiore.


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