Cord blood & cord tissue
Stem cell cure available for baldness
Advances in treatment mean that distressing hair loss could become a thing of the past
Promising advances in stem cell medicine mean that baldness in both men and women could be treatable in the UK within the next few years.
That’s exciting news for the UK’s most accredited stem cell storage company, which says that this is just another step towards the technology’s widespread use across many fields in medicine for the benefit of everybody.
The UK’s stem cell bank StemProtect.co.uk says that while sceptics may see a baldness cure as pandering to the worst of human vanity, it is not viewed that way at all in the research community. In fact, quite the opposite.
“Think about baldness cures and you think about desperate middle-aged men trying to drink from the Fountain of Youth,” says StemProtect.co.uk ‘s Mark Hall, “but it is far more important than that for many patients.”
For some, Male Pattern Baldness is a condition that can have severe effects on the patient’s mental health if it strikes particularly early.
“And as a bald guy myself, it’s not something to take lightly,” says Hall.
But while male vanity is one thing, hair loss due to scarring, alopecia and Female Pattern Hair Loss show the importance of finding effective treatments for baldness which can be distressing to many people.
That’s where stem cell research steps in.
The Treg Factor
A recent discovery has found that when regulatory immune system cells known as “Tregs” are not working correctly, then new hair follicles aren’t grown to replace those dying off through regular hair loss.
That means that stem cells previously thought of as playing a part in our immune system are also key to regenerating hair, and will therefore be the key to treating baldness.
“This is of tremendous hope to sufferers of immune deficiency alopecia, and also to several other types of baldness,” says StemProtect.co.uk’s Mark Hall.
“It’s a huge step in research into hair loss, and relates directly to stem cell medicine.”
The Regeneration Game
But it’s in Japan that giant steps are being taken using stem cell technologies. The Riken company is at the head of one of several rival attempts to bring regenerative medicine to the masses by the end of the decade.
Scientists know that hair follicles and skin are the only human organs that regenerate themselves repeatedly through our lives, and that’s thanks to the stem cells associated with them.
In millions of people, this process goes wrong, and hair loss is the result of the stem cells not regenerating as part of its life cycle.
New stem cell treatments – follicular regenerative medicine – mean that stem cells can be harvested and replicated from a patient, then turned into new hair follicles.
“While it resembles a hair transplant, it’s much more than that,” says Hall, “These are completely new and healthy follicles being planted into the patient’s scalp.
“And these stem cell therapies give important hope to men and women who have lost hair to scarring and alopecia, not to mention Male and Female Pattern Baldness,” he says.
General Public to Reap the Rewards
The great news about stem cell therapies for baldness is that it will be far cheaper than expected.
“People think hair transplants are only for the ultra-rich of this world who have the money to pay for it,” says Hall. “And that’s given people the impression that it’s all about vanity rather than actual clinical need.”
The Japanese treatments mentioned above will cost around 100,000 yen – that’s less than £700 – meaning that the general public will also be able to benefit from these new cures for baldness far sooner than they thought possible.
“And that’s the most important part of this,” says Hall. “Stem cell medicine isn’t for elites, it’s for everybody.
“From treatments against aggressive cancers to a cure for baldness, it’s finally being accepted that stem cell medicine is for everybody.”