A study into the use of modified body fat as a possible treatment for hair loss
is currently nearing completion.
The estimated primary completion dated for trial, which is overseen by the Pusan National University Hospital in South Korea, was February of this year, meaning that the scientists behind the study will now be analysing the data they have obtained. A total of 38 test subjects were involved in the trial, which was focused on the use of stem cells derived from adipose (body fat) on people with genetic hair loss, most commonly known as Male Pattern Baldness
and Female Pattern Hair Loss
Stem-Cell Treatment Hopes to Use Adipose Injections to Influence and Stimulate New Hair Growth
Efficacy and tolerability tested
“This randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind study,” wrote the South Korean team in their trial announcement, “evaluates the efficacy and tolerability of the allogeneic human adipose derived stem cell component extract on androgenic alopecia (genetic hair loss) in relatively healthy adults.”
The announcement went on to state that test subjects received either 1.2 g of allogeneic human adipose-derived stem cell component extract per month, or a placebo for 16 weeks. As with most hair loss treatment
trials, positive changes in hair count and thickness were deemed to be desirable primary outcomes.
Reading further into the application, reference is made to a product called Tiara Hair Tonic, which is already currently available in South Korea and which is advertised on its website as the “world’s first hair loss treatment solution using stem cell derived growth factors.”
It is unclear if the University Hospital is using this product in its trials.
In most trials into the use of stem-cell treatments derived from adipose, the method that teams use involves extracting stem cells from body fat (adipose), often from around the hip area, and then re-injecting them where needed: in this case the scalp. As these cells contain a high volume of the aforementioned growth factors, the idea is that these injections can stimulate new hair growth
. While sounding somewhat far-fetched, it is by no means an unproven science, with adipose-based treatments already in development or currently offered as a solution to repair multiple age or disease-damaged parts of the body.
Other trials underway
Other trials into the use of adipose-derived growth factors as a solution to hair loss are ongoing all over the world, with at least three underway in America.
As well as one currently underway by Maxwell Aesthetics
of Nashville Tennessee, another company named Kerastem Technologies
are conducting a phase II clinical trial across the US, known as the 'STYLE trial'.
Trial documentation states that there is an “emerging relationship” between body fat and hair and, given Kerastem's parent company - which it is partnering with for this research - is a leader in fat-grafting technology, this outcome of these multi-centre trials are eagerly awaited.
More recently, a team from the University of Florida
announced its own trial into adipose as a possible treatment for pattern hair loss. On the trial registration at clinicaltrials.gov the Florida team noted that specific cells harvested from body fat “may promote hair regeneration by increasing the hair-inducing ability of dermal papillae (DP) cells.”
Proven treatments already available
Of course, although everyone is looking for the ultimate 'cure', there are actually clinically-proven hair loss treatments already available; these are non-invasive and recognised by the UK and USA medical regulatory bodies, being both MHRA licensed and FDA approved for use on androgenetic alopecia.
So, if you are concerned you are losing your hair now, there is no need to wait for the results of these trials to get started on saving it.
A consultation with a hair loss specialist can determine not only the precise hair loss condition that is present, but also provide personalised recommendations on the best way to treat it.