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August 5, 2020

Insights Into the Biology of Persistent Chemotherapy-Induced Alopecia via Genomic Approaches—An Avenue to Clinical Translation?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Institute of Human Genetics, University Hospital Bonn, Medical Faculty, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany
JAMA Dermatol. 2020;156(9):947-948. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2020.1866

A major concern among patients with cancer is hair loss secondary to chemotherapy, an adverse effect that occurs among approximately 65% of patients who undergo this form of therapy.1 The association between chemotherapy and hair loss is well known across society, and chemotherapy-induced alopecia (CIA) can, therefore, induce a sense of violated privacy, or even shame, among those affected. The association of this adverse effect with reduced self-esteem, social confidence, and sexuality is particularly devastating for women. The anticipation of CIA is so distressing that some female patients even seriously consider refusing chemotherapy treatment.2

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