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Mother of all skin cells found - possible cure for hairloss?


#1

I think this is some very encouraging news, the key point I’d like to highlight from the article is this:

"…found that the stem cell that gives produces all the different cells of the skin actually lives in hair follicles…

Clevers said the advantage offered by the “mother” stem cell finding would be that they could grow skin from its original basis – allowing it to be “real new skin” with moisture from sebaceous glands and the ability to grow hair.

He said researchers now need to learn how to isolate the Lrg6 cells from human skin. That could take 2 to 3 years."

If this pans out, perhaps they could grow a small sample of the scalp which has permanently growing hairs and create a new skin flap to replace the balding area.


#2

» I think this is some very encouraging news, the key point I’d like to
» highlight from the
» article
»
is this:
»
»
» “…found that the stem cell that gives produces all the different
» cells of the skin actually lives in hair follicles…
»
» Clevers said the advantage offered by the “mother” stem cell finding would
» be that they could grow skin from its original basis – allowing it to
» be “real new skin” with moisture from sebaceous glands and the ability to
» grow hair.

»
» He said researchers now need to learn how to isolate the Lrg6 cells from
» human skin. That could take 2 to 3 years.”
»

»
» If this pans out, perhaps they could grow a small sample of the scalp
» which has permanently growing hairs and create a new skin flap to replace
» the balding area.

Interesting stuff, but it will take much more than a decade to be commercially viable. If there isn’t a real hairloss solution before then, I think most of the people that read this board will have given up long before petri dish-grown replacement scalps become available.


#3

» Interesting stuff, but it will take much more than a decade to be
» commercially viable. If there isn’t a real hairloss solution before then,
» I think most of the people that read this board will have given up long
» before petri dish-grown replacement scalps become available.

You’re probably right, since we all know most scientists don’t give a damn about baldies…however I was hoping we could piggy-back off any cures they develop for burn victims-that is new skin grafts which grow hair. Once the right technique is developed, I’m sure it can be applied to our needs.

I think we’ve all been let down by false promises and technologies that didn’t pan out…I’ve been watching this site for over 10 years now. I’m still hopeful in the next 5-10 years they’ll find something that works, since stem cells seem to be the holy grail for curing many human ailments and can grow new organs. But with our luck they’ll be able to fix everything including re-animate the dead, but reanimating/growing follicles will always be out of reach, like trying to turn lead into gold. :stuck_out_tongue:


#4

» He said researchers now need to learn how to isolate the Lrg6 cells from
» human skin. That could take 2 to 3 years."
»

That’s interesting: Another research-team “learned how to isolate” those cells already 2 - 3 years ago and patented their findings and techniques. About 1 year ago, they reported, yet, there isn’t for them no need anymore, to “isolate” any cells, to regenerate or repair new tissues or organs ( :surprised: ) - no sh’t! Of course, they patented their NEW findings and techniques too.

But @epiker0 is right: Researchers aren’t really interessted in “baldie-problems”, even a hair follicle IS (just) an “organ”. :expressionless:
And as far as I know, there is just 1 man among these TOP researcher-team, who seems to do at least a little bit for baldies too - at least a little bit …


#5

» But @epiker0 is right: Researchers aren’t really interessted in
» “baldie-problems”, even a hair follicle IS (just) an “organ”. :expressionless:
» And as far as I know, there is just 1 man among these TOP researcher-team,
» who seems to do at least a little bit for baldies too - at least a little
» bit …

Yup the follically challenged get no love from the scientific community. :frowning:

The technology is there-they’ve already grown bladders in labs and successfully implanted them in patients (and are working on other vital organs like the heart). We just need some keen researchers to apply their skills to our problem.

I certainly believe the means are out there to fix baldness, but the interest in the medical field is lacking. Its a shame they don’t realize whoever can come up with a cure stands to make billions.


#6

The trouble is that they probably wouldn’t make billions, at least not personally. Most scientists have signed away their intellectual property rights to their employers. Therefore, they are more interested in where they can get higher salaries and more challenging work.

The trouble with hair loss research is that Governments would never fund it, not least because politics is perhaps the most bald discriminatory profession there is. In practice that means private companies are left to research hair loss and that is extremely risky and also impossible most of the time.

The Government will fund life saving treatments and offer scientists job stability, a decent salary and a good pension (at least in the UK public sector anyway). Oddly they did give a grant to InterCytex but I think it has transpired that this was used for the benefit of other treatments that were more in the ‘public interest’ by the company as well as the HM research.

Meanwhile, working for a company researching hair loss in the private sector is tough. You have no guarantee of ever producing a product that works and whilst you are researching, you have no revenue. You have no job stability and dismal pension prospects. You have to be the sort of person who takes a massive risk to get into this industry. The only potential funding source available is the general public through listing shares or institutional investors, both of whom must be willing to take a huge risk of losing their entire investment.

And there is also some doubt as to whether the returns will be worth it in the end. The scientists won’t make the money; the investors will. So you’re asking people who could earn a lot in a stable job to earn less in an insecure job with no big payoff at the end, in a lot of cases.

Nor do I think the cure for hairloss will be worth billions in profit. After it has been shown most herbal treatments don’t work (although I’ve had some success with beta sitosterol of late) the cure for hairloss is likely going to be very expensive to administer. In the current market too, the profit margins on dutasteride and propecia are not huge because they are expensive to make and were expensive to get to market.

Also, once hair loss has been permanently reversed, where is the income going to come from? It’ll be a business with a big bang but eventually it’ll trickle down to new cases only. And some weirdos actually like being bald too!


#7

Thanks for the long version, I recently tried starting to explain at different places - for example:
http://www.hairsite.com/hair-loss/forum_entry-id-65022-page-0-category-1-order-last_answer.html

Anyway, you’re not totally right with your hypothesis, because at the end, you have forgotten to mention the most important points in this whole context - e.g. why did governments (as you mention them) or “the society” itself actually did a BIG mistake in the past, for not spending good portions of money for REAL hairloss research (hint: “complex-mini-organ-research” )? If you are unable to ADD something to your post, your post just sounds like the knowledge of Thomas Whitfield in regard “hairloss”:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1429170697948441004#

I’m pretty sure, in the meanwhile you’re able to complete your hypothesis for me, because your English is much better than my crappy English … :wink:


#8

» The trouble is that they probably wouldn’t make billions…

You make a well reasoned argument, thought I might differ on a couple of points. You can give scientists royalties/cut of the profit as incentive. There’s billions to be made since tens of millions of people suffer with hair loss around the world. Of course it has to be reasonably priced with a healthy profit margin. I’ve run a business before, believe me price won’t be too much of a hindrance as long as its affordable for most people. While it would be a “one off” treatment (ideally), it’ll be in demand for a very long time since there’s so many people who’ll need it. And who knows it could lead to other therapies we haven’t thought off yet.

But you are right about getting funding to do the research whether its public or private, its a tough nut to crack. Too bad there is no billionaire out there that we know of, who’d be interested in financing something like this. The other option as you alluded to is to work on life saving treatments (to gain government funding), that could also be employed to treat hair loss. I think this is where the article I posted fits the bill. But I’ve often read similar stories where some researchers stumble upon something that might regrow hair and view it as some oddity, make some claim about an eventual cure, then we never hear about it again. Hope springs eternal. :slight_smile:


#9

I doubt there will ever be a magic bullet for hair loss, because there are multiple causes, although MPB is by far the most common. I also harbour some doubt as to whether a simple drug or topical solution for MPB will ever be possible, because the amount of hormone intervention required would probably have all sorts of psychological and physiological side effects! Nor has there been any success in reviving completing dead follicles on the Norwood VIIs out there. I do believe drugs and topicals work, including some which are not approved by the FDA, but not with the sort of results we really want.

I have positive and negative views of future treatments. From a positive point of view, I expect a treatment that works and will provide a full head of hair is very near, probably in the next couple of years. The downside is that I expect it to be messy and require several operations in the life of a patient.

I think the next likely treatment will be hair transplants using Histogen’s hair topical on the donor areas rather than the scalp. Hair transplants using FUE will be conducted, then the donor areas will be treated with Histogen where it will be most effective, providing donor hair for the next treatment. I think there is little point in Histogen just targeting the scalp; what they produce is probably still susceptible to DHT.

As such, I don’t think the next solution will be hugely profitable. Hair transplant surgeons will have to administer Histogen making a small additional margin and Histogen will make reasonable profits with its product, though not spectacular.