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Alopecia Pill Cured Baldness of 3 Patients in Trial Over 5 Months

Image: Alopecia Pill Cured Baldness of 3 Patients in Trial Over 5 Months
Man loosing his hair, baldness. (dreamstime)

By    |   Monday, 18 Aug 2014 06:52 AM

An alopecia pill appears to have cured baldness in three trial patients in as little as five months, giving scientists hope that they may soon eradicate the effects of the autoimmune disease altogether.

"We've only begun testing the drug in patients, but if the drug continues to be successful and safe, it will have a dramatic positive impact on the lives of people with this disease," said the study's lead researcher Dr. Raphael Clynes of the Columbia University Medical Center in New York.

"This disease has been completely understudied — until now, only two small clinical trials evaluating targeted therapies in alopecia areata have been performed, largely because of the lack of mechanistic insight into it."

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Metro (UK) reported Sunday that doctors undertook the trial after identifying the immune cells responsible for killing hair follicles, T-cells, and targeting them with a drug approved to treat a form of bone marrow cancer, ruxolitinib. The drug helps to block immune pathways, thus preventing T-cells from attacking the follicles.

In the trial overseen by the Columbia research team, three men with moderate to severe alopecia areata were given a 20 milligram dose or ruxolitinib twice a day. The team found that within 12 weeks a significant amount of hair had reemerged, and by five months all three had a full head of hair. Their full report was published in the latest issue of the Nature Medicine journal.

"There are few tools in the arsenal for the treatment of alopecia areata that have any demonstrated efficacy. This is a major step forward in improving the standard of care for patients suffering from this devastating disease," said Professor David Bickers, a dermatologist at Columbia University, upon the trial's conclusion.

Scientists cautioned that the results are preliminary, and will not affect what is commonly known as male-pattern baldness, which is caused by hormones.

Alopecia areata affects roughly 1 in 500 to 1 in 1,000.

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An alopecia pill appears to have cured baldness in three patients in as little as five months, giving scientists hope that they may soon eradicate the effects of the autoimmune disease altogether.
alopecia, pill, cured, baldness
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2014-52-18
Monday, 18 Aug 2014 06:52 AM
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