A new trial is being carried out by the Lebanese University to test a possible hair loss cure. While there’s been a lot of promising research conducted over the past couple of years, the majority has focused on JAK inhibitor-based treatments. This new trial, however, centres on an adipose-derived cure.
The researchers from the Lebanese University are working alongside the Reviva Pharmaceuticals and the Regenerative Medicine Center MEIH Hospital. The trial will investigate whether transplanting stromal vascular cells derived from adipose, will lead to regrowth in patients suffering from alopecia.
What will the trial involve?
The trial, titled ‘Autologous Adipose-Derived Adult Stromal Vascular Cell Transplantation for Alopecia’ is designed to identify alternative therapeutic treatments for hair loss. There are 20 volunteers taking part and they’ll be split into two non-randomised groups.
One of the groups will undergo a procedure known as lipoaspiration to gain the required adipose. It basically involves suctioning out the patient’s body fat before isolating the adipose-derived stromal vascular cells (ADSVC). Once this has been done, the ADSVC will be transplanted back into the patient’s scalp.
The second group will also undergo lipoaspiration, although the adipose will be processed via a culture to gain the ADSCs required. Once done, the ADCSs will be transplanted back into the patient’s scalp.
The 20 volunteers consist of both men and women aged between 21-75 years old. None of them has immunodeficiency or scalp defects and they suffer from mild to moderate hair loss.
What types of hair loss could the ‘cure’ treat?
The description of the trial is a little misleading, as it claims to be exploring a cure for alopecia. Alopecia is the general medical term used to describe hair loss. However, there are many different types of hair loss and each has its own unique cause.
Alopecia is often perceived in the media as relating to alopecia areata – the most severe form of hair loss, triggered by an autoimmune disorder. However, not all types of alopecia are caused by autoimmune disorders. If you take a look at the exclusion criteria of the trial, it becomes apparent none of the volunteers have alopecia areata. Therefore, it is safe to assume that the trial is focusing on a potential cure for androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss).
Could the trial lead to a cure for androgenetic alopecia?
The trial does seem to be promising in terms of identifying a new potential cure for androgenetic alopecia. However, experts are cynical it would make a good hair loss solution.
This is because, during the procedure, there’s only a very small quantity of adipose taken from the body. Therefore, in order to produce significant results, patients would need to undergo several procedures. As it stands, there is also no evidence to support whether it will work. So, with that in mind, patients currently experiencing alopecia would be better off seeking existing effective treatment options.
There are numerous effective hair loss solutions available to treat all kinds of hair loss conditions. While there is no current cure for androgenetic alopecia, there are treatments which can cover up and slow down the natural hair loss process.