A drug used to deal with prostate cancer might help women fight hair loss. In the latest study of 17 women, more than half experienced ‘significant’ hair regrowth within weeks of taking the drug, bicalutamide.
The treatment works for prostate cancer by stopping testosterone from reaching cancer cells.
Prostate cancer makes use of the male hormone to develop and blocking it not solely slows the expansion of a tumor, and it might even shrink it. It’s these similar testosterone-blocking results that prompted scientists to trial the drug for female hair loss.
That is because, together with genetics and menopause, for example, the hormone is involved in androgenetic alopecia.
Testosterone, while regarded as a male hormone, is also present in small portions in women, and might attack hair follicles and speed up hair loss in women.
This course stimulates post-menopause as when women’s estrogen levels decline, the testosterone becomes more dominant.
As a result, hairs produced by the affected follicles become progressively smaller in diameter and shorter in size until finally, the follicles shrink completely and cease producing hair.
It is assumed to have an effect on up to one in three women at some time and has been linked to an increased threat of despair. It starts later in life than hair loss in men, with signs generally appearing in the patient’s 50s or 60s.
Existing therapies embody the drug minoxidil; however, this won’t work for all and brings the risk of side-effects reminiscent of skin rashes and complications.
In the new trial, bicalutamide, taken as a tablet, was given to the women every day, or on an alternate day for no less than six months. Based on the outcomes of the initial study reported in the journal, Dermatologic Remedy, there was a ‘great improvement’ in hair thickness in 53% of the women.