Join Date: Feb 2010
I transcribed the entire Interview
Jerry: I started working with this wound healing product about a year and a half ago, and initially got some promising results, its taken me definitely some time to understand it and understand what worked well and what didnít as well as just to see long term results and one of the things ive been doing in the last few months is just making a real concerted effort to bring people back in which is not really that easy, but just to really look very closely at my results and Iíve just gotten that much more excited about it.
Spencer: well I guess the big buzz is everyone is you know asking if this something thatís actually regenerating hair you know Dr Gary Hitzig put out the initial press release a few months ago, it looked like this was almost the holy grail, this was going to be hair cloning, and from what I gather its not exactly the case.
Jerry: Yea, you know it really does require further explanation; the best way that I can describe it is this represents a very important piece of the puzzle, it is a breakthrough. Its an active area of regenerative medicine, hair restoration is just a very very tiny application, there using this product for all sort of applications which I can describe for you if your interested.
Jerry: Yea, but I have not documented new hair in other words a complete out of nothing hair follicle appearing were there wasnít one
Jerry: but, it does appear to be able to restore transacted or injured hair follicles
Jerry: and something were very excited about which is to copy or what we call autoclone plucked hairs.
Spencer: Yea explain that, you know a lot of people have been writing us about that there been some stuff circulating online about that, I know that youíve been doing hair plucking ,and know that ive read some stuff about Dr Hitzig experimenting with it as well, explain it to us what exactly is it.
Jerry: Sure the best way I can describe it is if you just look at the basic structure of the hair follicle there are two basic layers of cells around the hair shaft, the outer layer is what we call the mesenchymal layer and thatís what contains the dermal papilla; thatís what intercytex and Aderans are trying to isolate and culture and use for cloning applications and cell implants. The inner layer is what we call the epithelial layer and that where you have the bulge with the stem cells, the outer and inner root sheath and when you pluck a hair properly you can get this inner portion or the epithelia portion, now about ten years ago Dr. Hitzig began experimenting some of his patients who had multiple old transplants and had no donor hair to give he just got interested in the concept of plucking beard whiskers and using them as grafts and he had a pretty low rate of success, but once in a while it worked and he kept working over the years on ways to get it to work better, then a couple of years ago began using this product called acell and I had kept in touch with him over the years because I was very interested in this idea and once I heard about the acell I knew I had to get involved and the basic idea is this that when you pluck a hair its going to grow back from the site you plucked it because all of the elements inside are necessary to regenerate the hair follicle and anyone whos plucked there hairs knows it grows back, but the reason that it will grow where we planted it is that when we coat it with this acell product and then transplant it stimulates the bodies innate regenerative potential to rebuild the follicle that outer portion around the plucked graft.
Spencer: thatís amazing,
Jerry: it is amazing
Spencer: that really is, I mean thatís basically if this is truly consistently possible you would basically have unlimited donor
Jerry: Right, and it was just astounding and I knew a lot of people would be sceptical, and Dr. Hitzig although very excited about it you know didnít really take the time to take macro photographs or biopsies and so thats some of the thins I wanted to do to really convince the sceptics.
Jerry: and so I was using a high powered attachment to my digital camera to document the photographic evidence that these hairs would grow and then I did a series of biopsies and worked with a very prominent dermatopathologist to analyze these biopsies to say what do these things look like under the microscope. And I can show some of those images and basically they look like normal hair follicles, Im trying to be careful not to overplay it, and I donít want to overstate these results
Spencer: yea but its not like you just heard it through the grapevine, you actually were able to produce these results
Jerry: yea, and prove for what I consider to be beyond a shadow of a doubt that this phenomenon occurs you simply cant look at these biopsy results and dispute what you see.
Spencer: Now are these plucked hairs growing into terminal hairs, full terminal hairs.
Jerry: yes, yea, indistinguishable
Spencer: I will tell you that ive been in this industry for thirteen years and this is probably the most exciting news that ive ever heard, and im not just trying to over hype this. If this is what it is, if this is what you say it is this is monumental news.
Jerry: well I certainly think so , and I think so for two reasons, one I think the autocloning as it stands right now with the plucked grafts has clinical applications today. I mean im doing this in the clinic right now. But, I think more importantly it shows us something that you know until recently we hadnít even thought of we were pursuing this idea of culturing dermal papilla and
Jerry: and applying and injecting them when the body has this miraculous regenerative potential and we can take this research this technology to the next level and learn how to trigger the body to regenerate hair follicles and in fact Dr. Anthony Atala who one of the worlds leading regenerative medicine experts was recently quoted in an article saying he thinks this is the direction that regenerative medicine is going, you know rather than constructing these complex organs in the laboratory and then putting them in or culturing all these cells that really the most promising direction is using these triggers and in this case acell using these triggers to get the body to regenerate.
Spencer: well first of all its an amazing sounding process and a) its you know its gotta be less expensive in the long run b) your not worrying about like you said regenerating these entire tiny little organs in a Petri dish
Jerry: right and you know the cell culturing process is incredibly complicated, and you know having these culturing facilities and so on, and whether or not it may turn out to be successful but, if thereís a simpler way it certainly would be much less expensive.
Spencer: I donít mean to cut you off but this aderans must be looking at this and be thinking holy cow, you know we spent all this time this money and obviously going in a specific direction to make this happen, but I mean this could completely eclipse what theyíve been working on.
Jerry: well thatís one possible scenario, and another possible scenario is its going to take a combination of this technology and cultured cells so I think right now everythingís up for grabs, this is a breakthrough, but exactly whatís going to happen from here you know remains to be seen, it may be that will be using a combination of cells and extracellular matrix, but I think this is one critical piece of the puzzle.
Spencer: well id say youíve always been a very diplomatic guy Dr. Cooley, I mean whats your gut tell you from what youíve seen in your own practice.
Jerry: my gut tells me that his is where the action is at, this is what other researchers are focusing on for degenerative conditions and this is where we as you know people very interested in bringing this idea of hair restoration, this is where we should be heading, but im not, im not, I want to make it clear, im not, I donít think this as of right now means the end of cell technology.
Spencer: right im actually surprised that im hearing this because I knew that this was happening, but I had no clue that youíve had such great success with it, and I think that whats going to happen especially once this interview gets out a) your going to be inundated with phone calls, and I donít want consumers and hair loss sufferers to think that okay now this out , there the holy grail is their Im going to be able to get unlimited donor supply, its going to take some time.
Jerry: oh absolutely, and I certainly that is not the message, this is in my opinion a breakthrough it is available now and it takes hair restoration to a whole new level in my opinion and it gives us options as will discuss as we get into my presentation, not just for this autocloning but just making current hair transplants that much better.
Spencer: I mean do you think that guys who are considering minimal procedures would be great candidates for something like this
Jerry: well this would probably be a good time to discuss unanswered questions, so we can create these new hair follicles we can duplicate hair follicles, are these hair follicles permanent? Are they subject to balding? Will they cycle normally? These are some important questions that I want to now that I know we can do it, these are the questions now that I want to look at is because theyíre regenerated in the recipient area are they a hybrid? Will they show sensitivity to DHT? When they go through there growing phase of three years will they fall out and not come back? So one of the things im going to do is start plucking some of my plucked grafts you know that are growing and see if they regrow and just to make sure that theyíre as durable and healthy as we want them to be.
Spencer: so as far as a timeline, when do you think, how long do you think its going to take for you to be comfortable in saying you know what this works, this works to the extent that you believe that we can give somebody a fuller head of hair without using some of the conventional methods.
Jerry: well ive very conservatively and very carefully starting introducing it into my practice that way, so ive started doing , you know ive stared off doing 100 test grafts, 200 test grafts, then 400 test grafts. My largest one to date is about 1500, and thatís an example of a women who had this really beautiful hair, she had had a prior STRIP with a bad experience at another clinic, came to see me we did a small STRIP with good results but even though she has this luxurious beautiful hair, her scalp is tight as a drum, so her option is basically FUE, and she heard about the plucking research and was interested so basically we did about 1500 grafts to her frontal scalp with plucking and a anticipating a good results. But that patient went into this process fully informed that yes its less invasive these are the advantages but we cant guarantee the permanence, you know I predict that they will be permanent but that will remain to be known, so anyone doing a new procedure
Spencer: even if it lasted three years, even if it lasted you know one growth cycle I mean to go back in to get it done obviously, thereís a cost issue involved, but if its relatively less invasive and you know theres not a tremendous amount of downtime you know you can kind of replace some of the hairs that might be lost over time, and I think thats always a possibility, yea its gonna be kind of like an ongoing process which isnít the best case scenario but it would still beat being bald especially for a women.
Jerry: well I think time will tell and answer these questions, im certainly optimistic that these will be you know long lasting results.
Spencer: okay, well good.