Medical

Stem cell topical solution for baldness offers positive trial results

Stem cell topical solution for...
A clinical trial suggests a topical solution is effective at regrowing hair
A clinical trial suggests a topical solution is effective at regrowing hair
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A clinical trial suggests a topical solution is effective at regrowing hair
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A clinical trial suggests a topical solution is effective at regrowing hair
From baseline to 16 weeks – the two sets of photographs on the left are from subjects using the topical solution and on the right, subjects in the placebo group
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From baseline to 16 weeks – the two sets of photographs on the left are from subjects using the topical solution and on the right, subjects in the placebo group

South Korean researchers have shown a stem-cell-based topical solution can regrow hair in both male and female subjects with common pattern baldness. The small, randomized, placebo-controlled trial found the treatment both safe and effective, with larger trials hoped to validate the results in more diverse populations.

The most common form of age-related baldness is known as androgenetic alopecia (AGA). Around half of men and women over the age of 50 will deal with some form of this hair loss, from a receding hairline to more general hair thinning.

The new trial focused on a type of stem cell abundantly found in adult fat tissue, called adipose tissue‐derived stem cells (ADSCs), which have been found to secrete a number of growth hormones vital to hair development. Smaller studies have demonstrated ADSCs can regrow hair in male and female subjects but this is the first robust human clinical trial to test a novel topical treatment against a placebo.

"Recent studies have shown that ADSCs promote hair growth in both men and women with alopecia,” explains Sang Yeoup Lee, from Pusan National University in South Korea. “However, no randomized, placebo-controlled trial in humans has explored the effects and safety of adipose-derived stem cell constituent extract (ADSC-CE) in AGA. We aimed to assess the efficacy and tolerability of ADSC-CE in middle-aged patients with AGA in our study, hypothesizing that it is an effective and safe treatment agent.”

This small, double-blinded trial gathered 38 subjects, nine of whom were women. Half received the ADSC-CE topical solution and half received a placebo, with directions to apply the solution to the scalp twice a day for 16 weeks.

From baseline to 16 weeks – the two sets of photographs on the left are from subjects using the topical solution and on the right, subjects in the placebo group
From baseline to 16 weeks – the two sets of photographs on the left are from subjects using the topical solution and on the right, subjects in the placebo group

After 16 weeks the researchers found mean hair density in the intervention group had increased by 28.1 percent, compared to 7.1 percent in the placebo group. Mean hair thickness increased 14.2 percent for those using the active solution, compared to 6.3 percent in the control.

The results mirror prior studies exploring the efficacy of ADSCs in stimulating hair growth, however, many other trials worked with different delivery methods, often using injectable techniques. This research suggests the novel ADSC-CE topical solution developed by the researchers is likely as effective as more invasive therapies. And, of course, this simple topical solution is a much easier treatment method than an injectable preparation potentially requiring frequent visits to a clinical environment.

"Our findings suggest that the application of the ADSC-CE topical solution has enormous potential as an alternative therapeutic strategy for hair regrowth in patients with AGA, by increasing both hair density and thickness while maintaining adequate treatment safety,” concludes Lee. “The next step should be to conduct similar studies with large and diverse populations in order to confirm the beneficial effects of ADSC-CE on hair growth and elucidate the mechanisms responsible for the action of ADSC-CE in humans."

The new study was published in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine.

Source: AlphaMed Press

7 comments
guzmanchinky
As a 50 year old man with thin hair, I can say I would pay a lot for something that actually works...
paul314
Interesting that there was a measurable increase for placebo as well.
Koolski
Where do I sign up???
Marco McClean
Can this technique be modified to use it to renew the cilia, the tiny hairs, in your inner ear, like with the mouse studies a few years ago, and bring your hearing of high frequencies back? I would trade all the hair on the outside of my head, in a heartbeat, to have good natural hearing again.
CAVUMark
Does it work on eyebrows too? Send me a sample.
alan c
The placebo was so successful it should be marketed right now!
Ianspeed
The burning question is... After 16 weeks of treatment if you stop using the lotion, does your hair recede again, I think it would, as it is just activating the follicles via transmission. So welcome to a world of keep paying for your looks or your hair will fall out.

@ guzmanchinky, I clipper mine now. I went through the trials for Minoxidil when I was nineteen years old after my hair fell out due to a motorbike accident. I'm now 54 and have no worries that I have the same hair style as Jason Stathem etc. I didn't have to pay for the Minoxidil at the time, it had limited effect on my head but put hairs on my chest literally! That was when they made Minoxidil as a powder before it became Regain as a lotion.

@ Paul314 Yes I noticed that as well... Is it all in peoples heads...instead of on them!

@ Marco McClean - I would give all the hair on my head as well for the higher frequencies... Easy trade off there I think!

@ CAVUMark Should do if you rub it on your eyebrows.