The Francophone Association of Supportive Care in Oncology (Association Francophone des Soins Oncologiques de Support (AFSOS)) has updated supportive Oncology Care Guidelines for Alopecia and Cancer to include scalp cooling.

The guidelines were finalised by a multidisciplinary working party of experts from institutions across France in order to address the side effect of CIA.  Management of this important side effect is long considered undervalued and undertreated, despite the significant psychological impact on patients’ quality of life, along with the potential impact this side effect can have on therapeutic compliance.

The ‘Alopecia and Cancer’ guideline seeks to help health professionals detect, prevent and manage alopecia associated with cancer and to give guidance to oncologists prescribing anticancer therapy along with all healthcare professionals such as nursing assistants, socio-aestheticians, psychologists specialising in psycho-oncology, who are involved in a patient’s cancer care.

The adoption of this recommendation by AFSOS follows the inclusion of scalp cooling in several Clinical Practice Guidelines that effectively determine standards of care around the world.  In 2019, the US National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) Clinical Practice Guidelines in oncology for breast cancer (Version 1.2019) included scalp cooling as a Category 2A recommendation, with a subsequent update to the Clinical Practice Guidelines in oncology for Ovarian Cancer, Fallopian Tube Cancer and Primary Peritoneal Cancer (Version 1.2020).  The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Clinical Practice Guidelines for Dermatological Toxicities Related to Anticancer Agents to include the recommendation of scalp cooling for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced alopecia (CIA) as a Category IIB recommendation and Cancer Australia updated ‘Guidance for the management of early breast cancer’ in 2020.

About AFSOS

Founded in 2008 by Oncologists and AESCO – European Association for Comfort Care in Oncology, FNCLCC – Supportive Care Group of the Federation of Centres de lute contre le cancer) and GRASSPHO – Reflection Group on Accompaniment and Supportive Care for Patients in Hematology and Oncology, the purpose of the association is to promote knowledge and the implementation of supportive oncological care.  AFSOS aims to pool knowledge, research, training and protocols between the French-speaking cancer community and the various Oncological Support Care stakeholders.