Which novel treatments for androgenetic alopecia have been investigated?

Updated: Mar 05, 2020
  • Author: Robert P Feinstein, MD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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A phase 1, double-blind clinical trial designed to evaluate the safety of a bioengineered, nonrecombinant, human cell–derived formulation containing follistatin, keratinocyte growth factor (KGF), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was performed to assess the efficacy in stimulating hair growth. Twenty-six subjects were entered into the study and none showed an adverse reaction to the single intradermal injection. After 1 year, a statistically significant increase in total hair count continued to be seen. [42]

A 2015 study in Spain indicated that plasma rich in growth factors (PGRP) is effective in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia. [43] Over 100 patients were studied and were given two intradermal cycles of PGRF every 4 weeks. Anagen follicles significantly increased by 6.2% compared with baseline, and there was a decrease of 5.1% seen in telogen follicles. No adverse effects were noted in any of the patients.

Serena repens extract has been shown to inhibit both types of 5-α reductase and, when taken orally, has been shown to increase growth in androgenetic alopecia patients. A study by Wessagowit et al attempted to assess the efficacy of topical S repens in androgenetic alopecia. [44] Fifty male patients were studied and were treated with topical S repens products for 24 weeks. The result was that the average hair count increased at 12 and 24 weeks compared with baseline. They believe prolonged use of these products beyond 4 weeks is necessary for sustained efficacy.

Adipose-derived stem cells secrete various growth factors that promote hair growth. Using trichograms, Fukuoka and Suga evaluated the effects of adipose-derived stem cell‒conditioned medium on hair regeneration. [45] The studies were done on patients both on and off finasteride. It was their impression that combination therapy was preferable to single-agent treatment. They believe that using adipose-derived stem cell‒conditioned medium seems to represent a new avenue of therapy for hair regeneration, and they believe that long-term use (over a period of years) should be studied to note effects and histological changes.

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