A potential cure for balding is to be trialled using stem cell replication. Researchers at RepliCel Life Sciences, based in Vancouver, Canada, are working on cures for a number of other problems including ageing skin and tendinosis – as well as hair loss – all using stem cells.
Stem cells put into action
David Hall, CEO of the firm, explains, “On the technical level, we’re not asking these cells to do anything other than what they naturally do, or be anything more than they are. These are adult, somatic cells derived from the patient which we simply isolate and grow. We’re not differentiating, genetically modifying, or manipulating these cells in any way.”
Clinically speaking, the stem cells are to be used to make up a deficit of active cells in the patient; the cells can be locally delivered by injection to address problems such as tendinosis or baldness, by selecting cells designed to fulfil the necessary functions.
Early-stage trials focused on tendinosis, injecting replicated fibroblast cells, taken from the scalp, into a wound-site to start the repair process. Phase II trials are due to start this year, treating Androgenetic Alopecia – also known as Male Pattern Baldness or Female Pattern Hair Loss. This genetic hair loss condition caused by a by-product of testosterone known as Dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
DHT binds to hair follicles, weakening them over time until the hair thins and may stop growing altogether. The trial will select dermal sheath cup (DCS) cells from the hair follicle base, replicate them into millions, and inject them into the thinning areas of the scalp.
Early animal trials of the stem-cell treatment showed excellent results; hair was grown where there were no follicles, plus where hair existed, it was thickened by the injections.
In humans, this could translate into repairing existing hair follicle damage. Hall says, “This is our longer-term programme”. Results from the Phase I and II trials are expected in 2016, and RepliCel anticipate licensing the process.
Many trials – some of which are highlighted in the Related Stories, below – are currently underway, investigating how stem cell technology may provide the next generation of hair loss treatments. However, those worried about thinning hair right now will be pleased to hear that there are already a number of effective options available.
Clinically-proven medications, finasteride 1mg and minoxidil for men, or high strength minoxidil for women, can be used alongside hair growth boosters to encourage regrowth and reverse signs of hair loss.
There are hundreds of examples of ‘before and after’ photographs, charting just a small selection of Belgravia’s clients’ progress from the start of their treatment regime, available to view in our Hair Loss Success Stories. These images provide real-life insights into the types of regrowth results these medications can provide, as well as the time it took each client to achieve them. For further information about treatment options, please contact a hair loss specialist.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.