SLU Studies Eyelash Growth Drug For Kids with Cancer

Dee Anna Glaser, M.D., documents the length of a patient’s eyelashes.

“Hair loss is known to be one of the most psychologically upsetting side effects of cancer therapy,” said Glaser, who is also a SLUCare dermatologist. “Patients have described hair loss after chemotherapy as a constant reminder of their illness.”

Though hair loss is reversible after chemotherapy, there is often a delay in hair re-growth. Researchers believe that eyelashes can take much longer than the four to six months scalp hair takes to re-grow following chemotherapy because eyelashes have a relatively short growth phase and a long resting phase. The study drug LATISSE® is used cosmetically to grow longer lashes by keeping them in a growth phase. The study is evaluating the investigational use of this medication for children following chemotherapy treatment.

Up to six volunteers will be enrolled in the study at Saint Louis University, with approximately 30 participants planned to be enrolled at 10 investigational sites. Participants must be between 5 and 17 years old and must be healthy following their treatment, with no serious continuing chemotherapy side effects and no evidence that cancer has spread.

Those who participate in the trial must have completed their intensive chemotherapy treatment between four and 24 weeks before entering the study and now be finished with chemotherapy or on maintenance chemotherapy. Patients may be referred to this study by their primary treating oncologist.

Those enrolled will be randomly assigned to receive the study drug or a placebo. There is a 33 percent chance that participants will receive a placebo.

All study drugs, study supplies, study-related dermatology and ophthalmology clinic visits, and study-related tests will be provided to participants at no cost. Participants in the Allergan-funded trial will be provided $75 compensation for completed office visits and $40 for a completed telephone visit for up to a total of $565.

To learn more about the study, call Saint Louis University at (314) 256-3436.

Established in 1836, Saint Louis University School of Medicine has the distinction of awarding the first medical degree west of the Mississippi River. The school educates physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health care on a local, national and international level. Research at the school seeks new cures and treatments in five key areas: cancer, liver disease, heart/lung disease, aging and brain disease, and infectious disease.

Carrie Bebermeyer
Categories Cancers