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, and overseas trials in Japan and Egypt are already showing some success.
"It's been thirty years of concern," said Roy Woelke.
Woelke knows how overwhelming hair loss can be. 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.
Doctor Kenneth Williams may have new hope for Roy and millions of others. He's running a clinical trial that uses stem cells and platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, to treat baldness.
"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," said Dr. Williams.
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.
"Those patients are seeing some differences in the density of the hair. We're waiting for the final results, which takes nine to 12 months after the administration. We look to see the final results of what we're doing," he said.
Dr. Williams hopes to publish results in two years.
Doctor 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.
If you would like more information, check out the medical breakthroughs on the web at www.ivanhoe.com.
Stem cell treatment for baldness showing signs of success
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