Brief Items of Interest, October 2015

Hair loss news first:

— Prolific hair loss forum participant “Hellouser” is planning to attend the 9th World Congress for Hair Research in Miami from November 18-21, 2015.  I suspect that this Congress will be the best one yet.  Last year I asked blog readers to raise funds for “Desmond” from Australia to go to the 8th World Congress for Hair Research in South Korea, and this year I am asking people to help raise funds for “Hellouser” from Canada to attend this Congress in the US.   Desmond’s videos from last year’s conference were excellent and an absolute must watch.  I hope “Hellouser” also manages to film many of the most anticipated presentations this year.  Please see Hellouser’s fundraising thread for more as well as his gofundme page.

— I covered Samumed in a detailed post last year.  It seems like the company updated its clinical trial page last month and might still be recruiting volunteers (although one forum member said they stopped after getting too many calls).  I called their Ohio testing location (listed in the clinical trials link above) and left a voicemail on 10/16/15 and will update this section if they call me back.  Update: Ohio location staff called me back on 10/19/15 and are still accepting volunteers this week.  Perhaps of more significance, Samumed is a Silver level sponsor of the earlier mentioned upcoming 9th World Congress for Hair Research. They are clearly not going away, and their Wnt pathway activation strategy is entirely different from what other companies such as Allergan, Histogen and Replicel are doing.

— An interesting new study tiled “The In-Vitro Development of Polarized Hair Bearing Skin” using LGR6+ epithelial stem cells.  A bit too technical for me to analyze in detail in this brief updates post.

— Dr. John Cole made an interesting update to his “looking for PRP volunteers” thread (NO LONGER THERE AS OF 2016) on the Bald Truth Forums.  In his own words, he is trying out the following formulations:

“1. PRP plus calcium gluconate (CG) Vs. PRP plus CG plus recothrombin
2. PRP plus calcium gluconate (CG) Vs. PRP plus CG plus autologous thrombin
3. PRP plus calcium gluconate (CG) Vs. PRP plus CG plus ACell
4. PRP plus calcium gluconate (CG) Vs. PRP plus CG plus AmnioFX
5. PRP plus calcium gluconate (CG) AmnioFX plus ACell Vs. PRP plus CG plus AmnioFX
6. PRP plus calcium gluconate (CG) Vs. Ultrasound cell lysis to release growth factors of PRP plus CG
7. PRP plus calcium gluconate (CG) Vs. PRP plus CG plus dalteparin plus protamine microparticles.”

— While we are talking about the details of PRP, on October 10 Dr. Jerry Cooley posted the following on the Hair Restoration Network forums:

“About PRP, that’s a great question. Actually, there a lot of different ways to ‘do’ PRP. Adding ACell is just one variable. Some of these other variables are: the device used to centrifuge the blood, the concentration of platelets achieved, the total volume injected, the size of the syringe and needle used to do the injecting, the level in the scalp it is injected, whether the PRP is ‘activated’, the use of microneedling, etc. All of these can affect the result in my opinion.”

— And yet more on PRP:  Dr. Jeffrey Rapaport keeps getting great publicity on his PRP treatment for hair.

FYI:  Although I discussed PRP a lot in this post, I still think its a gamble when it comes to growing back lost hair.  If you do go for this procedure, it is probably worth contacting Dr. Joseph Greco first (search this blog’s “Categories” menu for more on him) and then contacting other doctors for a second and third opinion. [Update: Dr. Greco sent me some feedback that I have pasted in the comments to this blog post].

And now on to medical items of interest:

Deleting genes could bolster lifespan by 60 years.  Only done in yeast cells as of now, but perhaps Liz Parrish can help speed this up in humans too?

George Church and colleagues do it yet again.   They modify 62 genes in pigs used the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology. Humanity is a giant step closer to the day when organs can be harvested from pigs and implanted into humans without fear of rejection.

— If organ donations from pigs take too long to become a reality, there is always the possibility of ever improving artificial organs. The third ever patient to be fitted with an artificial Carmat heart is doing well six months post transplant.  He is 73 years old.  The first such patient died 2.5 months after getting an artificial heart and the second such patient died 9 months after getting an artificial heart  due to a motor control malfunction.

— I was unaware that earlier this year US based Alcor cryogenically preserved its youngest ever patient: a two-year old Thai child (just her brain).  Now the BBC has published a very good article with video covering the family.  Both parents are highly educated medical scientists and really believe that we are not too far from when science can bring back the dead, so long as they or their brains have been frozen immediately upon death.  I am totally creeped out by this, but at the same time fascinated.  The parents seem like very reasonable and compassionate human beings.  Also see this interesting new article on the science behind cryonics as well as last month’s NY Times front page article on Kim Suozzi’s brain preservation via cryonics.

An interesting side note:  I once met this lady at a conference and she told me that she was involved in the freezing of baseball legend Ted Williams at Alcor in 2002.  She told me that even at the age of 83, his legs were extremely muscular!

— A good article on Japan’s push to lead the world in stem cell research, including fast tracking clinical trials.  We in the hair loss world know all about this and are hoping that many western companies take advantage of these favorable laws and conduct their trials in Japan.

— DARPA seeks to treat bodies with light, electricity, sound and magnets.

— Instead of obsessing over Lamar Odom, the US media should be covering stories such as the ones above, or this one that will make you all fuzzy inside.  Pipe dreams of course.

39 thoughts on “Brief Items of Interest, October 2015”

  1. I’m sorry but, PRP? Really?! This is nothing but some snake oil treatment. Please let us not give any credence to this crap.

  2. I asked Dr. Joseph Greco to reply to the PRP related forum posts from Dr. Cole and Dr. Cooley, and below is his e-mail response that I have pasted word for word:

    From Dr. Greco:

    “First, it is great that others, including my good friends John Cole and Jerry Cooley, are doing more studies in PRP. In 2007, when we were first utilizing growth factors in all phases of a HT we noticed sooner and denser growth, less scaring, which led to our initial small research grants utilizing growth factors in Platelet Rich Plasma for Androgenc Alopecia. A second research grant in 2010 demonstrating positive results in Alopecia Areata, which also led to further studies and peer review publications.

    PRP is like Pasta, “it varies in quality, how to prepare it and how to use it”. It can be use alone or in combination with a matrix, bone marrow stem cells, adipose stem cells, Aminotic Cells etc.

    Studies of PRP can be a double edged sword because, as Jerry mentions, there are so many variables with systems, platelet capture, matrix addition ( natural protein matrix like I use or a xenogenic matrix like A Cell ), activation or non-activation etc. Most importantly, the fact is, side be side studies are not valid because platelets will migrate all over the scalp you just can treat individual areas and compare.

    While I have been in hair restoration 33 years, the past eight years I’ve specialized in Regenerative medicine or the use of your owns cells to modify disease. All of our patients are treated with some form of biologics ( PRP, CRP, Adipose derived stem cells, Amniotic cells, peptides) either alone or in combination to treat pain and orthopedic issues like torn tendons, ligaments, Osteoarthritis, acute and chronic wounds, hair restorationand even dry eye syndrome. There is an Art and Science to utilizing biologics when treating such a variety of medical issues and hair is not an exception.

    One area I’m interested in is what suitable environment do growth factors and stem cells thrive in the hair niche and how to maximize that potential for hair growth with your own cells.

    I applaud John Cole and Jerry Cooley as well as others trying to understand more regarding how these growth factors in PRP work to improve hair. The best is yet to come and the use of your own cells in hair restoration surgery and non-surgical applications is both safe and exciting.”

    1. Change In Views On How To Use Finasteride (Propecia)

      September 15 2015, 7:46 am PT | Posted in: Drugs + Drugs (Cause Hair Loss) + Hair Loss Causes

      I am writing this post from the ISHRS annual meeting in Chicago. I have just heard a wonderful and informative discussion on the use of of the drug finasteride. As we know, the hormone DHT is 40 times as powerful an androgen as testosterone. The treatment of genetic hair loss is to address blocking the DHT hormone. One of the worlds experts, Dr. Mohit Khera from the Baylor College of Medicine, told me privately that when DHT levels are in the low normal range, the use of DHT blockers such as finasteride will have little value and may not be effective in the treatment of genetic hair loss. With this as a suggestion, we will now optionaly offer DHT blood tests for any person who wishes to have this test prior to going on finasteride (Propecia). If the blood levels are low, we may not advise the use of this drug as the goal of using this drug is to drop DHT levels, which may already be low. This lecture is based on considerable research both in animals and human studies but it is not absolutely definitive as there was much controversy at the meeting that the doctor may have had a conflict of interest in the opinions he drew.

      1. Does this mean that men whose “DHT levels are in the low normal range” can still lose hair in the mpb pattern as those with high level of dht?

        This might explain why propecia didn’t work for me.

  3. Hi Admin,

    In light of those statements on Prp and your own personal research would you say Prp may be effective at hair maintenance rather than regrowing new hair? At lot of people on forums who have had Prp seem to be disappointed at no new hair but seem to mention they maintained what they had before. Maintenance is surely half the cure! I may have to give it a try myself!
    And thanks you forum! Definitely the best hair loss forum out there in my opinion.

    1. Hey Jared, I am not sure about PRP at all, but inclined to think that it benefits a fraction of people via maintenance and maybe even some regrowth. The question is what percent of people benefit?

      1. Thanks Admin… i trust your opinion so maybe i should wait a little to see some more clinical results before i fork out £900 for 3 treatments. The clinic i visited said that it may or may not work. I appreciate their honesty but thats sound to me like one should expect to be disappointed. Need bimatoprost to be released within the next year badly!

  4. Already donated a few bob to Hello’s trip to Miami. the only company that I’m really looking forward to an update from is Samumed. They seem to have something interesting on their hands seeing as they are moving steadily through their clinical trials. They have been tight lipped thus far, so I doubt we’ll hear any inside info.

  5. Check this video by Gale Naughton.

    She mentioned that they completed 3 clinical trials. Buy need to conduct a more trials in different geographies. This video was from July 2015.

    Hopefully this is good news that 3 trials are completed. I guess they need phase 3 left?

    She mentioned that HSC is histogen main product and it works very well. Curious what she will say next month in the conference

  6. I can’t wait for the day where I can just grow my hair nice and thick, gel it up and fro it out like Pauly D from Jersey shore haha. Confidence and happiness would be nice to have again.

  7. Still enjoying the positivity of your posts on hair and science news. You are keeping hope afloat with concrete reasons why it should be! Agreeing with Jared. Best hair loss forum out there. Thank you. (:

  8. Histogen, samumed and seti are probably going to be game changers. Bim I am not that excited about. I am using it now and it’s actually made my temples shed more! Bern on it for 5 weeks. I know the dose isn’t strong enough for hair growth but imagine if it’s 10x stronger how much more the shed would have been. Probably going to stop using latisse once the bottle runs out. I think my dermatologist ripped me off and made a quick 120 bucks from me cuz he saw how frustrated I was that I started losing ground. We need a treatment that gets to the stem cell level to reactivate follicle from the source not some hair thickener that will still get attacked by dht

  9. Luis they are enrolling participants for their supplemental phase 2 trial that will end in Jan 2016 I believe. Weird that they are doing it bit let’s hope it’s good news and that the treatment will grow lots of thick dense hair

  10. Luis’s one of two things 1. Their treatment works and the fda wants them to do a biopsy trial of the scalp effects to check safety or 2. It doesn’t work and they want to find out why. We will find out next month at the congress. Phase 2 supplement will end Jan 2016. Personally I believe it works since they have been moving quickly. They may try to avoid phase 3 with this trial and quick pass into market. I just hope it works and they give us excellent regrowth. Just some really good news is much deserved for all of us.


  12. The drug melatonin, a potent antioxidant and growth modulator, was identified as a promising candidate for the topical treatment of hair loss. The study was conducted in 2003 at the Forenap Centre Hospitalier in Rouffach, France. The drug was found to be well tolerated. Approximately 80% of people found that it reduced hair loss during the short 90 day trial. The study concluded that there was a positive effect of melatonin on hair growth in patients with AGA. The authors recommended more studies have to be done to confirm the benefits for both short and long term hair loss treatment. The drug melatonin may behave similar to a topical drug which was marketed by a French pharmaceutical company which was known as a “morning after” abortion pill (as it was/is known and marketed some 20 years ago) and no longer on the market. A topical form of melatonin is commercialized in Spain (a topical solution called Lambdapil solution) but according to a colleague there, it is weak and no better than minoxidil.

  13. Caution! The Bald Truth is pathetic. The worst hair loss forum. They don’t want you talking about new research and treatments. They want you to lose hair so you have to get a transplant from one of their certified doctors AND EAT PROPECIA. IS PATHETIC! AWESOME. Winston the moderator is now actively trying inhibit progress: Hellouser Miami 2015 hair congress.

    We want a new treatment better than Minoxidil and Finasteride.



    1. hey luis, do you know swiss temples method?
      I checked his blog he said it was expensive?
      I don’t really care about this or that, but a treatment without side effects with results as good as his don’t seem like a bad idea.

      I checked his blog, but is there a place to do the same thing?
      Are you trying to do the same thing?
      It’s not dangerous is it?

      This story here is fascinating, an independent civillian

  14. Help Hellouser to attend this conference so maybe we can hear some good news this time. Make a donation, any value will help, and if you can, try to spread the word, he will be our voice and ears there and will make the questions we want to make. All major researchers will be there. Make a donation, tell somebody you know about it, there’s way too many people who suffer of alopecia, just like we do, but don’t know what’s going on, all these potential treatments, studies, discoveries… So try to attract them, to enlighten them. It can be 10 dollars, doesn’t matter.

  15. How can Hellouser attend this event? To my understanding they limit the attendees to doctors and phd’s, strictly to medical professionals and researchers? Unless Hellouser is indeed under these categories?? Or is the event open to the public?

    1. Non-Member – registering after September 1, 2105 $850.00

      Physicians, hair researchers, persons from related societies and specialties, ******and other individuals****** who wish to attend the scientific sessions and full congress

  16. 99% of everything posted online is speculation, incorrect facts and bs. Just remember that. We are not behind the scenes at any clinical trial or pharmaceutical board room to know the facts. All we can do is wait and hope

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