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Sanford-Burnham\'s hair-raising study


#1

Sanford-Burnham’s hair-raising study

or


#2

“Cells needed to grow hair have been produced from human stem cells, according to a study led by scientists at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in La Jolla. The first-time feat could uncork a bottleneck in developing hair-replacement therapies, the scientists say.”

Exciting, what 's even better is that Terskikh is losing his hair too so he is on our side.


#3

THIS IS IT, PEOPLE! I really mean this. If this works out, and I think it will, THIS is the ultimate cure. Furthermore, I don’t think this is a hoax or false alarm. I think this is really the ultimate pathway to growing new hair, and I mean a full head of hair. What I mean by this is that for all this time, there was really only one way to develop a silver-bullet cure for MPB, and now we have apparently reached that point, where our need and technology have finally converged. I don’t know if he’s perfected this yet but this is a huge, huge development.


#4

One thing I didn’t like reading in that article from the San Diego Union Tribune was the response from Gail Naughton of Histogen.

She said: “Short term, a stable source of lab-created DP cells that are at a younger developmental age could potentially be an important screening assay to test efficacy in new hair growth treatments,” Naughton said by email. “Longer term, these cells may be a treatment for baldness once safety and efficacy of the cells are conclusively shown in vivo.”

Well, my response to Ms. Naughton is, if this DP discovery is really “the cure” (and I think there’s real reason to suspect it is), then why would you waste time using it to “test efficacy in new hair growth treatments”??? Jesus Christ on a crutch, lady, THIS IS THE BEST HAIR GROWTH TREATMENT YOU WILL EVER FIND!!!

Notice how among the first words out of her mouth were about how “safety and efficacy are conclusively proven in vitro”. In other words, “Get in line, suckers!!!” Well, firstly, they have a right to go overseas, and prove those things in a country with less jumbled and overbearing regulations than the US, just like Histogen did. And if that tactic worked to cut Histogen’s costs and waiting period down, it will work even better to cut theirs.

Secondly, let’s assume it will take 5 years or whatever for this to get through all the regulatory hoops in the USA, with the FDA. Well, any new “hair loss treatment” you could possibly be talking about, Dr. Naughton, would take at least that long to go through the same hoops. So why bother to use this new DP cell discovery to test a treatment that will come out at about the same time, or maybe after, a treatment that will be much better – in fact, a cure?

I can say right now that this is the odious way much of American business works. A breakthrough discovery is made, and then immediately you have the vulture competitors circling around overhead, trying to spot flaws, sidetrack it, derail it, undermine it, just so they can get their inferior product out first and make a bundle on it, while everyone’s waiting for the superior product which will make their own treatment obsolete.


#5

Finally! Can’t wait to hear Cott’s response.


#6

Do I have reasons to be skeptical? I have never heard of Alexey V. Terskikh or Sanford-Burnham before. Are they legit?


#7

The Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute is an established, prestigious medical research institute in San Diego. It was founded in 1976 as the La Jolla Cancer Institute…

http://www.sanfordburnham.org/Pages/Splash.aspx

I know, I used to live in San Diego. They are a high profile institute in the community and not a fly-by-night.


#8

Hi roger_that,
Very enthusiastic with this news but, I can read that it has been tested into mouse skin, wich we know that it is incredible good to produce hair, but what could happen after transplant it into human skin? .

Hope this will give us good news very soon


#9

One problem I have with this Roger is that in order to grow hair the scalp STILL needs a good supply of fat layer and as we age our fat layer shrinks everywhere, including the scalp. So the thinner fat layer could prevent these new hairs from growing to an acceptable length.


#10

[quote][postedby]Originally Posted by jarjarbinx[/postedby]
One problem I have with this Roger is that in order to grow hair the scalp STILL needs a good supply of fat layer and as we age our fat layer shrinks everywhere, including the scalp. So the thinner fat layer could prevent these new hairs from growing to an acceptable length.[/quote]

If a 60 year old man has hair on the side of his head and you transplant it to the top, it will not grow because he does not have enough fat??? Never heard of that!


#11

You raise a good point but we do see cases of 60-year old men who’s hair on the sides and back is very sparse and thin and won’t grow long anymore. Their donor area has thin hairs that are very short and far apart. Reduction of the fat layer is probably playing a key role in this.

Over at the bald truth Dr. Gardner (who was part of the Jahoda team) himself said that researchers, including Jahoda, understand that aside from finding a way to create new follicles they also have to figure out how to treat the scalp. When he said this he was talking about doing something about the thinning of the fat layer. Remember that the proteins and growth factors to make hair grow come from the fat layer so of course if the fat layer thins then there will be less proteins and growth factors going to the follicles.


#12

Jarjar, I think you’re overemphasizing the role of the fat layer in sustaining hair growth a bit.

Yes, it’s better to have a healthy fat layer, for 2 reasons as I see it:

  1. Fat tissue is highly vascularized, and that means its small blood vessels channel nutrients to any structures in and around it, such as hair follicles (the hair follicles aren’t really embedded directly inside of the fat layer, but they’re in close proximity to it, and I think that they benefit from having vascularized fat with small blood vessels in such close proximity, in those people who have a healthy fat layer).

  2. Fat tissue especially dermal fat contains Adipose-Derived Stem Cells (ADSCs) a common kind of multipotent or pluripotent mesenchymal stem cell, which secrete growth factors and enrich the general environment. I’m sure this is healthful for hair follicles in proximity.

On the other hand, to suggest that a thick fat layer is absolutely necessary to sustain hair growth, I think is not true. I don’t think it’s absolutely essential, just comparatively beneficial. That is, people who have healthier fat layers might tend to have healthier hair growth, but a depleted fat layer doesn’t mean no hair growth.

Remember that the REAL KEY is Hair Follicle Stem Cells, NOT Adipose Derived Stem Cells. ADSCs do not normally transform into trichogenic DP cells in the body. HF stem cells turn into progenitor cells which turn into (or otherwise induce the multipication of) trichogenic DP cells.

I think we shouldn’t confuse the roles of HF stem cells (and DP cells which are their most important progeny) with ADSCs. ADSCs are just something that is beneficial on a relative basis, but trichogenic DP cells are ESSENTIAL.

Furthermore, you can use the trichogenic induced DP cells that Dr. Terskikh is making, generate hair follicles (and/or induce miniaturized ones to enlarge), and then to enhance the effect and make the follicles healthier, use growth factors or ADSC secretions as well. One does not bar the other.


#13

First here are a few posts by Dr. Gardner where he talks about how the scalp environment is a key issue (Keep in mind that Dr. Gardner’s posts are responses to posts by other people):

05-21-2014 02:22 AM #34
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The effectiveness of any treatment is going to vary case by case, but making new follicles does not fix any underlying issues that caused hair loss in the first instance. I envisage that complementary therapies will have to be used as well in the more severe cases. Beyond this I could see full scalp regeneration technologies being developed, as it would be much easier to control in the lab, but that’s not something that will come after reliable follicle induction.

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That paper is describing a technique of growing micro-follicles in the lab, in the same way as that described by the Lauster group. They do not demonstrate complete restoration of in vivo DP character. But I don’t think 100% restoration is required in culture, it won’t hurt but a lot of the character of the DP in vivo is generated by its interactions with surrounding tissue. All we and the other groups are attempting to do is restore enough character to the DP cells to kick start this interaction with a high efficiency.

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No one has presented, or published work demonstrating full retention of inductivity or gene expression. As I said above “But I don’t think 100% restoration is required in culture, it won’t hurt but a lot of the character of the DP in vivo is generated by its interactions with surrounding tissue. All we and the other groups are attempting to do is restore enough character to the DP cells to kick start this interaction with a high efficiency.”

The addition of growth factors is not desirable for clinical practice. Producing these factors to a clinical standard is very difficult and expensive, it is better to try and induce the cells to make these factors themselves.

I’m not sure what you mean about the sheath cells, do you mean are they important for hair follicle orientation?

The interaction of any constructs with the surrounding tissues is key yes, as I’ve mentioned previously implanting these constructs into skin which has underlying problems will not “cure” baldness. Co-therapies limiting the degradation of any new follicles would be required.

Multi-cell models including adipocytes (fat cells) and melanocytes (cells that provide colouration) are in the works, but I can’t talk about those at the moment.

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If those follicles exist then yes they will likely fare better. However balding/bald scalp is less “healthy” (in relation to follicle support), so constructs will be being transplanted into a less healthy environment, the constructs themselves may be very viable but without proper support and interaction I would hypothesize that they wouldn’t retain resistance. Hence why I think that co-therapies to prime the scalp prior to transplantation and maintain a healthy environment after will be vital. Until we can somehow address any underlying causes.

And now here is Yale saying that the signals (presumably growth factors and proteins) from specific fat tissue is key to hair growth (Note that the lead researcher indicates that when hair dies the fat layer shrinks, suggesting a link between a shrunk fat layer and the follicle’s inability to grow hair, or at least quality hair):

Don’t Gardner’s posts and Yale’s statements supports my concerns? Roger, it seems to me that it’s one thing to create follicles but it’s an entirely different thing to implant those follicles in the scalp and have them grow as we want them to.


#14

Can some of the smart posters here come up with a projection? Assuming they have the funding they need, are we talking about 3 years, 5 or 10 ? Is it worth waiting for or should I get a hair transplant first? Nothing would make me happier than to be able to get off the meds.


#15

Great post, thanks for pulling up all that information. I would say all that information is interesting, but most of it doesn’t really apply to what’s been developed by Sanford-Burnham.

All that discussion by Dr. Gardner is about REHABILITATING “OLD” CULTURED DP CELLS, which already lost their hair inductive abilities, as has been demonstrated (by Aderans, Gho, Intercytex and others, much to their surprise and dismay).

Dr. Terskikh’s and team’s work is about creating a brand new generation of “young”, highly-inductive DP cells directly from stem cells, which as I see it is very different from what Drs. Jahoda, Christiano, and Gardner were trying to do.

In other words, Sanford-Burnham has leap-frogged right over those guys by tackling the problem from a completely different angle.

Notice Dr. Gardner’s emphasis was on improving the “character” of the DP cells. He uses the term “restore the character” of the DP cells multiple times in the quotes you posted. The DP cells he was using were bad, because they were cultured through many passages, and essentially “senescent” or “used up” – their hair-follicle inductive properties were gone. Drs. Gardner and Jahoda were trying to rehabilitate these cells, to “turn back the clock” and make them young and inductive again. But this was an extremely complicated process that even they could not describe in full because they didn’t know everything needed to achieve it.

What Sanford-Burnham is doing is totally different. They are operating a stem cell lab. They are taking human pluripotent stem cells and inducing them to become a young, brand new generation of DP cells (or “artificial” DP cells).

As I see it, since these DP cells that Sanford-Burnham are creating have the characteristics of a brand-new (Generation 0) crop of DP cells, they will have all the inductive properties of that original clump of cells Dr. Jahoda took out of scalp and implanted into his wife’s arm. Those cells were DP cells, but they were not cultured through any generations. Therefore they were 100% inductive. (The problem was that since the cells hadn’t been multiplied in culture, there would never be enough DP cells to cover an entire scalp with this approach – and by harvesting donor cells, you’re actually depleting the donor area’s resources.)

Aderans was trying to induce dormant follicles or even create new follicles by giving them a “jump start” via injected cultured DP cells, but the problem was, once you start culturing DP cells, successive generations lose their inductive properties more and more, until they’re just about zero.

Jahoda, Christiano, and Gardner were trying to use DP cells cultured through many generations (to get a lot of them), and “reverse the clock” by rejuvenating them and making them have young genetic characteristics again.

They were trying “restore the character” of the old, multi-generation cultured DP cells. But it was a very complicated task. They had all kinds of ideas about what might turn back the clock, but none were certain – it was all hit or miss. Some of it, as Dr. Gardner explained, had to do with exposing the DP cells to the environment of the scalp, or something like an “ideal” scalp environment.

I still think scalp environment is important, but just for growing hair, not as critical as you think. It’s kind of like growing seeds in soil. Most seeds will grow in almost any soil other than sand or gravel (and some will even grow in very sandy or gravelly soil) – it doesn’t have to be perfect soil. Of course, if you improve the quality of the soil, the seeds will grow better, faster, healthier, stronger etc. But the soil doesn’t have to be “ideal” for them to grow.

Think back about the real cause of MPB. The real cause of MPB is that DHT sensitivity leads to a cascade of chemical events which results in HF stem cells not making new generations of cycling DP cells. It doesn’t have to do primarily with the quality of the surrounding scalp. Hair transplants will still grow in what you might consider relatively “poor” quality scalp, as we know.

Now I think the real result of this will be that Sanford-Burnham will be able to do what Aderans and Gho originally wanted to do – revive miniaturized follicles by replenishing them with fresh new highly inductive DP cells. And Sanford-Burnham may also be able to create new follicles from this – highly possible.


#16

This certainly sounds like the best news we’ve heard in a long while…

Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the procedure shows similar efficacy in HUMAN stem cell trials…

[quote][postedby]Originally Posted by roger_that[/postedby]
THIS IS IT, PEOPLE! I really mean this. If this works out, and I think it will, THIS is the ultimate cure. Furthermore, I don’t think this is a hoax or false alarm. I think this is really the ultimate pathway to growing new hair, and I mean a full head of hair. What I mean by this is that for all this time, there was really only one way to develop a silver-bullet cure for MPB, and now we have apparently reached that point, where our need and technology have finally converged. I don’t know if he’s perfected this yet but this is a huge, huge development.[/quote]


#17

Good points Roger, but keep in mind that after those brand new fully inductive hair follicles are created and implanted into the scalp they will still need a healthy amount of the proper growth factors and proteins in order to flourish.

These proteins and growth factors emanate from the fat tissue in the scalp and as more and more time goes by there’s less and less fat tissue in the skin of the scalp. By the time this new concept comes to market there will be less fat tissue in the skin of our scalps and therefor there will be less growth factors emanating from the fat tissue and going to the newly created follicles. It seems to me that since there will be less fat tissue, and therefor less growth factors and proteins that come from fat tissue, this could adversely affect not only the quality of the hair, but also the length and thickness it will achieve.

On the other hand, you have a valid point that we could probably solve this problem by simply getting injections of the correct growth factors and proteins. But if that is the plan why wait until these new follicles come to market in 7 or 8 years? We already have tiny follicles (we call it peach fuzz) and the same as we can use growth factors to get Dr. Terskikh’s new follicles to grow longer and thicker in 7 or 8 years we might be able to use the same growth factors TODAY to get our already existing peach fuzz to grow longer and thicker. What exactly is the difference between injecting the correct growth factors and proteins into our scalps in 7 or 8 years to lengthen and thicken the tiny follicles Dr. Terskikh sells us (for lots of money) versus injecting those same growth factors and proteins now to lengthen and thicken our already existing tiny follicles that we call peach fuzz? It seems to me that the only difference is that in one case we can do it NOW and in the other case we wait 7 - 8 years.


#18

[quote][postedby]Originally Posted by Lucky[/postedby]
Assuming they have the funding they need, are we talking about 3 years, 5 or 10 ? Is it worth waiting for or should I get a hair transplant first? Nothing would make me happier than to be able to get off the meds.[/quote]

We can’t make that assumption “they have the funding they need”. Because they don’t. They said in the article they’re looking for partners.

Also, they’ve only demonstrated hair growth in immunodeficient mice. If you recall, Replicel managed the same thing. So, even though it looks promising, it’s not a solution that’s guaranteed.

Lastly, there is still much work to be done from a basic research perspective. Will it work in the tortured environment that is the male balding scalp? Hair cycling and control of growth direction etc… not to mention safety issues, will all need to be worked out. This will take time. Then you can tack on the obligatory 5-10 years for clinical trials. Though, I’ve never seen a trials completed in 5 years.
As you can see with Replicel’s current upcoming trial, due to the nature of hair growth/cycling, it takes a long time to see final results. They need to demonstrate, not only that they can grow hair, but that the hairs stay put and don’t degrade, that they’ll grow as a normal hair does.
Unfortunately, that takes a long time. So phase II alone will take a few years to conduct.

Couple more years for basic research + partnering/funding time + time for organizing clinical trial and recruiting trialists + 5-10 years of trials (5 if asia route estimate) = long time

In other words, this is not coming to a theater near you anytime soon. If they conduct this in Asia, then it may be a bit quicker. But, it will still take a long time.


#19

The story also made the Huffington Post. http://goo.gl/2O3yfn


#20

Sad that we just can’t eliminate the FDA. What ever happened to freedom when the individual made the choice and accepted responsibility for the call. Researchers should not have to go through hoops to get new products to the market. Remember this the next time you vote. Our politicians are in bed with the FDA or should I say big pharma. This appears to be revolutionary. What if one of the islands located out of the control of the US, would purchase this finding, they could setup clinics and make billions…