02476 323 372 info@hilotherm.co.uk

CIPN & Hand-Foot Syndrome

What are CIPN & Hand-Foot Syndrome (HFS) and how do they develop?

Chemotherapy is one of the most important therapeutic components in cancer treatment. It can save lives – but unfortunately it also has some undesirable side effects. Certain chemotherapy drugs can cause damage to the nerve endings in the hands and feet. This is known as chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN). Side effects of peripheral neuropathy are often felt in the hands and feet and can cause severe pain and discomfort; affecting a patient’s balance, dexterity – and even their ability to walk. Tingling, numbness and burning are also common symptoms of CIPN.

Hand-foot syndrome (HFS) is a dermatological condition that primarily affects the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. It occurs as chemotherapeutic agents penetrate the hands and feet through the capillaries and cause damage to exposed tissue. Symptoms of HFS include redness, numbness, swelling, blistering and dry, peeling skin. Those with more severe symptoms may lose their nails and experience intense pain in their hands and/or feet.

Severe symptoms can lead those suffering to reduce their dosage, make changes to their treatment plan or stop treatment altogether.

How Can Hilotherapy Prevent CIPN & HFS?

Lowering the tissue temperature slows blood circulation and metabolism and prevents the chemotherapeutic agents from penetrating the capillaries in the hands and feet. For example, dropping the tissue temperature down by 10°C can reduce the metabolic rate by 50%. Hilotherapy is an effective way to do this, as it allows the localised tissue temperature of the hands and feet to be kept constantly cool. Unlike traditional methods of cooling, Hilotherapy can be used for hours or even days at a time without temperature deviation. Cooling is typically applied at 15ºC-17ºC for 30 minutes before, during and 30-60 minutes after chemotherapy.

Hilotherm ChemoCare is most effective at preventing CIPN/HFS symptoms when it is used from the first chemotherapy session and throughout all chemotherapy sessions. Sometimes ChemoCare is not used from the outset but a decision is made to start using once symptoms have developed. Hilotherm can be effective at stopping symptoms from worsening and also alleviating existing symptoms. Cooling in these circumstances should take place for all future chemotherapy sessions and post-chemotherapy cooling time should be increased to 60 minutes. The earlier a decision to start using Hilotherm, the better the results are likely be.

There have been many studies carried out on the use of Hilotherm to prevent CIPN/HFS with further studies being published regularly. Please see links below.

Where is Hilotherm ChemoCare CIPN available in the UK?

Patients undergoing chemotherapy in the UK are now able to use Hilotherm ChemoCare at GenesisCare in Bristol, Cambridge, Maidstone, Milton Keynes, Oxford and Windsor. Please click the link below for more information from GenesisCare.
Unfortunately Hilotherm are unable to provide ChemoCare systems directly to patients as devices need to be used during chemotherapy treatment. Any chemotherapy providers wishing to introduce Hilotherm ChemoCare to their patients can contact info@hilotherm.co.uk or 02476323372

Device & Cuffs

The Hilotherm Chemocare device is fitted with two hand cuffs and two foot cuffs to cool hands and feet simultaneously during chemotherapy. Sensors ensure the temperature does not fluctuate during treatment. Treatment is typically administered at 15ºC-17ºC for 30 minutes prior, during and 30-60 minutes after chemotherapy.

Get in Touch

If you would like to find out more information about how Hilotherapy can help you, please call us on 02476 323 372 or email info@hilotherm.co.uk


Happy Clients

★★★★★ ​ Rita Chawla

Would 100% recommend. I recently underwent major surgery and my husband hired a machine for my recovery. The machine controlled the swelling and pain and worked wonders through my sleepless nights. Ice packs just didn’t cut it for me as I could only get around 20 mins of use at a time with ice packs.
Thank you for assisting in my speedy recovery.

★★★★★ ​ Lara McCarthy

My daughter used for a week after upper and lower jaw surgery. It meant that she could snooze during the day and at night with a ‘cool face’. Service was exceptional. Really useful advice given.


★★★★★ ​ Kareen Taylor

I must say that the Hilotherapy machine is worth every penny. I came out with no bruising and very little swelling after having double jaw surgery. It really helped in keeping my face cool and virtually pain-free. I would recommend this equipment to anyone and, in fact, have already recommended it to friends about to go for ankle and knee surgery. I would also say that for anyone suffering from migraines this is a fantastic piece of machinery that really helps with the pain.


★★★★★ ​ Rosalind King

We found the whole process of ordering the Hilotherapy device very straightforward and quick, and Martha certainly found that the unit helped with the post-operative swelling and discomfort. We would definitely recommend it to other people going through the same operation.