Autologous Cell-Based Therapy May Temporarily Increase Hair Density

By Reuters Staff

March 23, 2020

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A new autologous cell-based therapy appears to temporarily boost hair density in men and women with pattern hair loss, researchers in Japan report.

There are limited options for treating pattern hair loss, especially in women, and even these treatments are not always satisfactory.

Dermal sheath cup (DSC) cells surround the dermal papillae (DP) and are thought to play a key role as progenitors of DP cells, which promote and control hair growth and elongation.

Dr. Ryoji Tsuboi of Tokyo Medical University Hospital and colleagues evaluated the efficacy and safety of injecting autologous DSC cells into bald areas of the scalp of 50 men and 15 women with pattern hair loss.

Total hair density and cumulative hair diameter increased significantly at six and nine months at the low-dose DSC-cell injection site, compared with placebo, the researchers report in Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Total higher density and cumulative hair diameter did not change significantly in the medium- and high-dose DSC-cell injection sites, and the improvements at the low-dose DSC injection site were no longer apparent at 12 months.

Mean hair diameter did not change significantly in any group over the course of the study.

The treatment appeared to be more successful in older individuals and in those with moderate severity hair loss.

Mild adverse events at the injection sites were observed in 14 individuals, but there was no suggestion of a difference in their occurrence between the DSC cells and the placebo injection sites.

"This clinical study of autologous cell therapy using DSC cells to treat male and female pattern hair loss has shown positive, although temporary, responses at the lowest cell concentration injected, and further studies are warranted to determine the best concentration of cells and treatment regimen," the authors conclude.

"In order to determine if this cell-based treatment provides a significant clinical change noticeable to patients and practicing physicians, additional clinical studies injecting DSC cells in larger hair shedding areas should be performed to demonstrate a visible effect by global photo-assessment," they add.

Shiseido Co. Ltd. funded the study.

Dr. Tsuboi did not respond to a request for comments.

SOURCE: Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, online March 5, 2020.