Americans spend between one and four billion dollars a year treating hair loss. Now, four surgeons in the U.S. are testing a stem cell treatment in a non-surgical procedure. Overseas trials in Japan and Egypt are already showing some success.
“It’s been 30 years of concern,” Roy Woelke told Ivanhoe.
Woelke knows how overwhelming hair loss can be.
Woelke detailed, “I noticed thinning in my late twenties, and it never stops. It seems like it just goes on and on.”
He’s had three hair replacement surgeries, but that’s really just moving hair around the head, and as he says, you run out of supply. Kenneth Williams, D.O., a hair restoration surgeon at Orange County Hair Restoration in Irvine, California, may have new hope for Woelke and millions of others. He’s running a clinical trial that uses stem cells and platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, to treat baldness.
Dr. Williams explained, “The study is taking cells that are in our body that help to regenerate or stimulate inactive or dormant hair follicles. That is the theory behind what we’re doing this procedure on.” (Read Full Interview)
Dr. Williams takes fat from the abdomen, emulsifies it and separates the stem cells, mixes it with the patient’s own plasma which has been spun down to be super concentrated. Then with 300 shots, injects the mixture into the scalp, twice over a three-month period. Roy hopes to get into the trial, which has five participants so far. Dr. Williams already does the procedure for paying patients who’ve had promising results.
Dr. Williams detailed, “Those patients are seeing some differences in the density of the hair. We’re waiting for the final results, which take nine to 12 months after the administration. We look to see the final results of what we’re doing.”
He hopes to publish results in two years.
Dr. Williams’ trial is supported by NIH, but not by a major pharmaceutical company yet. That means his trial is patient-funded, meaning they’ll pay a reduced cost of the $2,500 to $5,800 procedure, depending on which arm of the trial is chosen. Contact the Irvine Institute of Medicine and Cosmetic Surgery at (949) 333-2999 or visit www.straandstudy.com for more information.
STRAAND STUDY: Dr. Kenneth Williams is currently running a clinical trial that will hopefully help and delay hair loss. Unlike any other form of current treatment, Dr. Williams is focusing on stem cells and platelet rich plasma, or PRP, to treat baldness. The study consists of taking stem cells that are already in the body to regenerate or stimulate inactive hair follicles. Studies show that stem cells residing in the scalp remain at recurrent numbers but in balding patients, the conversion of stem cells to progenitor cells required for follicle growth is reduced. The goal of this study is to stimulate hair to become active and to be able to grow again. In the non-surgical procedure, Dr. Williams takes fat from the abdomen of the patient. The stem cells are separated from the fat cells by emulsification. The stem cells are then mixed with the patient’s plasma and the mixture is injected 300 times into the scalp of the patient twice in the span of three months. With the current five participants in the study, the results have been very promising. The current trial is supported by National Institutes of Health and is patient-funded. For more information on the study or to become a participant, visit www.straandstudy.com