Hair disorders in patients with cancer

Azael Freites-Martinez, Jerry Shapiro, Shari Goldfarb, Julie Nangia, Joaquin J. Jimenez, Ralf Paus, Mario E. Lacouture

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Cytotoxic chemotherapies, molecularly targeted therapies, immunotherapies, radiotherapy, stem cell transplants, and endocrine therapies may lead to hair disorders, including alopecia, hirsutism, hypertrichosis, and pigmentary and textural hair changes. The mechanisms underlying these changes are varied and remain incompletely understood, hampering the development of preventive or therapeutic guidelines. The psychosocial impact of chemotherapy-induced alopecia has been well documented primarily in the oncology literature; however, the effect of other alterations, such as radiation-induced alopecia, hirsutism, and changes in hair color or texture on quality of life have not been described. This article reviews clinically significant therapy-related hair disorders in oncology patients, including the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms, severity grading scales, patient-reported quality of life questionnaires, management strategies, and future translational research opportunities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1179-1196
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number5
Early online date14 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • anagen effluvium
  • brittleness
  • cancer patients
  • catagen effluvium
  • chemotherapy-induced alopecia
  • curling
  • depigmentation
  • eyebrow alopecia
  • eyelash alopecia
  • hair repigmentation
  • hirsutism
  • hyperpigmentation
  • hypertrichosis
  • hypopigmentation
  • straightening
  • trichomegaly


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