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Old 05-04-2007, 02:37 AM
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Hey guys,

I know im putting this question on the wrong section of the forum.
I read in another section of the forum about how a company in cambridge calle "Curis" are developing a hair loss treatment along with tissue regeneration and skin cancer treatments utilising what they call the "Hedgehog signaling pathways". Currently they are approaching the human testing trials and there seems to be as much enthusiasm and investment as hair multiplication. They grew hair on bald mice within 13 days apparantly.

The only thing is they don't say what the treatment actually does.

Is it supposed to use this alleged hedgehog pathway signaling to create new hair follicles

or

Stimulate or maintain hair that has remained to the same effect as rogaine or propecia.

Intercytex and alderans claim to be decades away from a treatment that can signal the hair loss genes to obey their commands. This however sounds like what Curis claim to be developing now.

Im in work, the Boss is out and im bored.

Does anybody wanna chat?
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Old 05-04-2007, 02:37 AM
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Hey guys,

I know im putting this question on the wrong section of the forum.
I read in another section of the forum about how a company in cambridge calle "Curis" are developing a hair loss treatment along with tissue regeneration and skin cancer treatments utilising what they call the "Hedgehog signaling pathways". Currently they are approaching the human testing trials and there seems to be as much enthusiasm and investment as hair multiplication. They grew hair on bald mice within 13 days apparantly.

The only thing is they don't say what the treatment actually does.

Is it supposed to use this alleged hedgehog pathway signaling to create new hair follicles

or

Stimulate or maintain hair that has remained to the same effect as rogaine or propecia.

Intercytex and alderans claim to be decades away from a treatment that can signal the hair loss genes to obey their commands. This however sounds like what Curis claim to be developing now.

Im in work, the Boss is out and im bored.

Does anybody wanna chat?
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  #3   Top  
Old 05-04-2007, 06:49 AM
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Badger,

I have to admit, I've never heard of this...however, now that I have, perhaps when I have some time I'll do some more research on it. from what I've heard, hair multiplication is about 10+ years away from being ready.

If anybody that has more information on this that they want to share, we'd all appreciate it.

Bill
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Old 05-05-2007, 07:06 PM
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Hello Bill and Badger,

I am a freelance science writer and a fellow hair loss sufferer and I have done extensive reseach on the hedgehog antagonist and even spoken with some employees of Curis as to the hair loss treatment proposed.

The hedgehog antagonist was named after the hedgehog gnat it was discovered in, not aftetr the cartoon hedgehog as some would believe. The antagonist particle basically tricks the pathway that tells the hair to grow into thinking that it is getting the signal at the same magnitude it did when we were toddlers.

Think of it this way: have you ever noticed how most babies look as if they are suffering from advanced hair loss? Then, one say (regardless of whether or not they will suffer MPB in the future) they have thick, full hair? This is because of a chemical signaling pathway that tells the hair to grow. Now, most of us had hair for a few years after puberty, even though we are suffering from hair loss now. We had DHT on the scalp at that time, right - little hint, the answer to that question is 'yes'. So why didn't our hair loss start when we were thirteen or fifteen? The answer is that the pathways were still open and telling the hair to ignore the the DHT and grow. In essance, the antagonist tricks the pathway into reopening and telling the hair follicles to ignore the effects of DHT and resume normal healthy growth.

How is this different than gene therapy? Well, it is very similar, however, the particle that Curis has claimed to have discovered doesn't alter the genetic code, just tricks the pathway into reopening. The antagonist cannot create new follicles, but there seems to be some evidence that Curis believes that it may reactivate "dead follicles" and the science seems to support that theory.

One little side note on "dead follicles" : there is no such thing in the context of MPB or FPB. The only way to kill a follicle is to cause substantial harm to the skin - a scarring rash, a burn, a cut, etc. I've seen many people and even doctors proliferate this misinformtion on follicles - I cannot tell you whether or not they realize that the follicle is not truely dead. In reality, we are covered in hair. Even our faces and foreheads. We simply possess a gene that causes these hairs to be so miniturized (as they become in areas effected by MPB and similar illnesses) that the hair they grow is invisable and very hard to feel. Have you ever seen the "dog boys" of Mexico? They are covered, head to toe, in hair. They possess a gene which left the majority of the population eons ago. The follicles on their bodies are all active and produce thick, visable hair.

Basically, if the antagonist works as promised, it would make the follicle immune to the effects of DHT by tricking the pathway into believing it is getting a signal to grow. Therefore, according to their research, they don't need to manipulate the signal, just fool it into starting again.

Whatever the case, we are probably 2 to 5 years away from seeing the drug resulting from the research. Most likely, it will be on par with hair transplants and might even do them to shame. There is some debate as to how the drug would be given. All signs point to it being a out-patient procedure given by a doctor, like botox. There is the risk of the development of tumors if administered incorrectly, so the odds are against it being a treatment give through the normal pharmacy and taken home.

Hope that answers some of your questions.
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Old 05-05-2007, 07:17 PM
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HLBD,

Excellent information...I appreciate it greatly. When I have some time, I am going to do some more research on this as well. What you are saying sounds totally logical. In fact...it sort of lines up (unscientifically of course) with a thread I just posted here: http://www.hairrestorationnetwork.co...d.php?t=155643

This concept and potential solution may prove to be a much more viable solution than trying to inhibit DHT from getting to the scalp such as what finasteride does and dudasteride might do.

Some questions...

What, if any, side effect might tricking the Hedgehog signaling pathway into believing it's getting a signal for the hair to grow? And do we know what causes the signaling to stop in the first place? Since obviously there is some "tricking" that is happening wiht this method...what indeed is being tricked? Whatever is being tricked may be what's responsible for hair loss all together...which could indeed be genetic code?

I'm definitely up for more discussion on this. Thanks for the information and hope to hear more from you.

Bill
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Remember, true beauty radiates from within, not from the skin.

I am not a medical professional and my words should not be taken as medical advice. All opinions and views shared are my own.
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Old 05-05-2007, 07:20 PM
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HLBD,
Thanks for providing that informative detail. Medical technology certainly is a fascinating field. It's very exciting thinking about the possibilities, not only for hair, but for curing diseases, halting or slowing down aging, etc.

Gorp
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Old 05-05-2007, 07:44 PM
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Thanks Bill and Gorpy,

It is indeed very exciting! I used to work as a biotechnical tech about three years ago and I loved it. Still, I love writing and teaching even more.

I'll do my best to answer your questions, Bill. Unfortunately, I'm a science writer and not a scientist, but I believe I got the over-all picture of the antagonist. Basically, even the scientists at Curis are baffled as to what the "trickery" of the hedgehog antagonist is, but they know that it over-rides the signal of the genes to close the signal pathways telling the follicles that are undergoing miniaturization to continue growing as the rest of the hair that is genetically immune to the effects of DHT, etc. But you are correct in stating that it is basically tricking the hair into ignoring the genetic coding of the follicle to stop it's normal, healthy growth cycle.

The hedgehog antagonist has not yet been cleared for testing in humans as the toxicology reports are not in, so there is currently only one suspected side-effect of inappropriate administration, as I have mentioned: timorous growth. However, the scientist at Curis seem to believe that this side effect is avoidable if it is administered by a doctor in a controlled environment. It was they who have compared a possible treatment to a botox treatment - as botox treatment can have effects that they believe would be of a similar magnitude if administered improperly.

The other side effects would be, as suspected, unwanted hair growth - as in the "dead follicles" on the forehead and face. However, the researchers believe this can be prevented if the treatment is administered by a doctor. And, of course, the semi-positive effect of rapid hair growth.

I'm glad to discuss more and answer any more questions on this or anything else. I think we are all in for an exciting time in the next five years - that is, if things go as planned. It's my feeling that these discoveries at Curis have many in the hair loss industry struggling from the scraps from the dinner table, which is why we are seeing a proliferation of odd devises and drugs which may provide little or no benefit: Rogaine foam, LLLT, caffine...
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Old 05-05-2007, 07:54 PM
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HLBD,

Quote:
Basically, even the scientists at Curis are baffled as to what the "trickery" of the hedgehog antagonist is, but they know that it over-rides the signal of the genes to close the signal pathways telling the follicles that are undergoing miniaturization to continue growing as the rest of the hair that is genetically immune to the effects of DHT, etc.
Personally, I believe that in order for this to become a successful treatment and avoid any potentially unwanted side effects, that the scientists studying this will need to fully understand more about what this "trickery" is really doing.

Hopefully "Administration of the solution (when it's available) by a doctor in a controlled environment" will become more clear as more research is done. Since it seems the solution might be availble in form of an injection, clearly, proper administration will be vital to delivery of a successful treatment.

I do believe, however, that all risk factors should clearly be understood and known before this treatment is available to the general public. Of course, that is where research comes in .

I agree this is exciting news and hope to see something really come of this.

I hope you'll keep us posted with any new information that comes about regarding this study.

Bill
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Remember, true beauty radiates from within, not from the skin.

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Old 05-05-2007, 07:58 PM
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Bill,

Just read your post on DHT and the real cause of hair loss. You have an excellent point.

According to the research I have done, some people possess a genetic code which tells the hair to ignore the effects of DHT and listen to the signaling pathways that are telling the follicle to grow. Now, in almost half the population (at one time or another) some hair will be taken over by miniturization. I believe the answer lies in the genetics, my friend.

I grew up in a medical family and have worked for doctors and scientists. I respect their profession in every way; however, we must remember that they too are human and feel an overwhelming urge to be right, even in the face of uncertainty - we like to be certain, because uncertainty is too scary to think about sometimes. The fact is, there is much we don't understand in regards to hair loss. Regardless of whether or not some doctors and scientist will ever admit it, we don't know all the reasons for hair loss. Not too long ago, were you to mention that you believe DHT build-up was a cause of hair loss, many in the scientific and medical community would have riddiculed you - I'm not that old (twenty-eight) and even I remember that very thing happening (mostly to people that were not doctors or scientists). Now look where we are today: "DHT causes MPB." I think it may be a more appropriate cause of hair loss that DHT sparks (in some people that are genetically suseptible) the shutting-off of the signaling pathways that tell the hair to grow.

I think you make a good argement. I for one have never agreed with the use of the antiquated Norwood scale. The fact is that no doctor, anywhere can tell you how bald you will become and at what rate. To be able to do so, we would need to all go bald at the same time for the same reason. Not to mention that my father, who is still a NW 4 or 5, would be a 6 or 7 considering that he too started loosing his hair at 17.
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Old 05-05-2007, 08:30 PM
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HLBD,

Thank you for reading my post.

My "argument" is indeed an argument, but more a list of questions that seemingly even doctors can't answer specifically...which is indeed why I ask the questions. I suppose I am a scientist at heart, even though this is not my profession...but I'm not clouded as much by the desire to be correct. I'm out there seeking the truth whether I'm right or wrong. The only difference is...I'm letting others do the research .

I have the greatest respect for the medical and scientific fields, but you are correct...humans have an innate desire to be right...sometimes so much that they will argue undisputed facts simply because it goes against what has been concluded in their minds as years of research.

That all being said...I know the answer IS genetics...but specifically where is yet to be determined.

DHT is clearly involved in facilitating hair loss, but there is something clearly underlying that hasn't been discovered yet. I think this signaling pathway may indeed be a key to discovering the root cause. Whatever is being "tricked' by this method, if it does indeed prove to work...might indeed be the root cause of the problem which is what is then shutting down the Hedgehog signaling pathway. Obviously, varying from person to person, at a certain point in time per hair follicle, something is telling the signaling pathway to shut down and the hair follicle begins to be impacted by DHT. Tricking this thing (even if it remains unknown) MIGHT be the answer...but I suspect that more should be discovered about what this genetic thing really is, so that we know whether or not tricking it will be problematic in the form of side effects.

I do believe that using the norwood scale is important for a number of things...but I agree...nobody can accurately make a prediction of where somebody will end up on the norwood scale in the future...but it can be used in the present to gaige where somebody is. The fact that hair loss is unpredictable is why when discussing hair transplantation, it's important to discuss the long term plan in the event of worst case scenerios. Though nothing can be for certain, one can do certain things to minimize risks going forward with surgery so that in the event they do lose more hair, a plan is in place to transplant hair in those areas which is why reserving the donor area is always a good idea.

Btw...I am only 2 years older than you. I'm 30 and have had 3 hair transplants. I'm a recovering NW6 . Though I've lost the majority of my native hair, I'm reserving some donor in the event I need to do some work below the crown. Currently, I believe finasteride is helping me maintain that hair.

Keep us posted.

Bill
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Remember, true beauty radiates from within, not from the skin.

I am not a medical professional and my words should not be taken as medical advice. All opinions and views shared are my own.
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