» Are the rest of you sitting on pins and needles waiting for Aderans phase 2
» results? I am!!!
So far Aderans has disappointed big time. This process is taking a RIDICULOUS amount of time (over 10 years – far longer than I expected) and now they keep lowering expectations. At first it was supposed to be “designer hair”, now we’re talking about bald spots being improved ever-so-slightly with a few extra hairs around the outer edges. Nothing that clearly takes a balding person and makes him look like he isn’t balding. Which was exactly what they were shouting to high heaven about when they started. So it’s really disappointing.
The one factor which might change this bad news, however is COMPOUNDABIILITY.
The reason for this is the following: Let’s say a “bad” treatment is something that only gives 1/10 of the results you’d like.
Well, even a bad treatment can be repeated 10 times. If results are compoundable, then repeating that bad treatment 10 times might result in a “good treatment” with truly cosmetically useful results.
Remember, Aderans is NOT a drug. It’s something completely different from Propecia or Rogaine. Drugs aren’t really “compoundable” in the same sense. You start using them and either they work or they don’t. If they work, you’ll see a gradual improvement, and then you’ll reach a plateau, where no further improvement is possible.
Of course, you MIGHT be able to improve the results of Propecia dramatically if you, say, took 20 pills a day. But then you’d also die. Or you could improve the results of Rogaine dramatically if you rubbed it into your scalp all day, every day. But again, if you did that, you’d die.
All drugs have a TOXICITY related to dosage. Their efficacy be compoundable in theory, but not in practice, because if you go beyond a certain point in dosing, you get extremely sick, or you die. Sure, you can go into “maintenance” mode and keep using the drug every day for the rest of your life. But that’s not the same as increasing the daily dosage. If you increase the daily dosage beyond a certain point, it may actually be GREAT for your hair, but you will get very sick and you may die.
That’s why nobody takes 20 Propecia tablets a day.
HT is definitely not compoundable except in the most limited sense. The doctors will tell you the more grafts you get, the more coverage you’ll get, but very soon you’ll hit a concrete wall. You run out of donor hair. And all the while they’re doing irreparable damage to your scalp.
Aderans’ treatment different in that there is no perceived toxicity to it, and there’s no brick wall hit from depleting donor hair or savaging the scalp. They’re injecting a culture of your own cells. So it is literally something you could have done safely, an unlimited number of times, depending of course on your funds.
I have my own theories about what contributes to Aderans’ efficacy or lack thereof, in any given situation.
Injecting cells into the scalp is like a crap shoot. Unlike in the embryo where proto-follicles are held together by naturally occurring embryonic chemicals and growth factors (which are very specific to the embryo and fetus and no longer exist in the adult), the cells injected by companies like Aderans and Replicel, once they get into your scalp, are NOT naturally held together in a ball to form a proto-follicle. So as soon as they’re injected, they tend to want to flow apart. Some of them may be absorbed by nearby hair follicles, which incorporate them into their structures and in this way become larger. But I believe this is rare. That’s why I say it’s like a crap shoot. Most of the cells injected float away and are wasted. Maybe 90% of the cells are wasted. They never contribute to any new hair growth at all. Maybe 10% are lucky enough to get incorporated into existing follicles, which might enlarge vellus follicles and in some cases turn them into terminal follicles. That is what probably accounts for the slight “new” hair growth seen in the Aderans patients. The remainder of the injected cells simply drift apart, never to be heard from again. They may be taken up by the bloodstream, eaten by macrophages, or just float away and die.
There is almost no way to address “crap shoot” problem in a single application. Aderans has tried using various tiny matrixes (matrices) or biodegradable scaffolds to hold the injected cells together long enough to form a follicle. I don’t know what the specific results of that idea are, because to my knowledge they haven’t been reported anywhere. The fact that such results haven’t been reported, even just in passing, to me is not promising. Maybe these scaffolds aren’t working nearly as well as they had conceived. This scaffold/matrix idea might be great in theory, but maybe it’s too complicated and fraught with problems to work in practice. That might be why we’re not hearing much about it. Sure there are various patents for it, but has the idea actually panned out?
However, forgetting about the scaffold idea, even a really disappointing treatment in which 10% of the injected cells cause some improvement, and 90% of the injected cells are wasted, should be, by its very nature, compoundable. If 10% of the injected cells are lucky enough to get incorporated into nearby follicles in each injection, causing those follicles to grow and become cosmetically visible, then of course that is a very low yield. But repeating that poor-yield procedure 10 times, would perhaps give you an impressive end result.
Unlike with drugs or HT, where you increase risk the “more” of the procedure you use, with Aderans procedure you do not increase risk on successive treatments. And each time, you have the same odds of growing hair. With the same odds each time and zero increased risk, results should be compoundable.
I’m not sure about this theory… Only time will tell. But that’s what I’m relying on now for Aderans. I think I’m right on this. But if this theory doesn’t pan out, Aderans may become yet another colossal failure.