Dr. Cole seeks out best PRP protocol in new study

Dr. Cole in his element (Image: Google)

Hair transplant surgeon Dr. John Cole of Cole Hair Transplant Group is seeking participants for several study groups in his quest to pinpoint the best protocol for PRP injectable treatments. Dr. Cole has long been a proponent of PRP + Acell injections as a stand alone hair growth treatment as well as in conjunction with hair transplants. Dr. Cole knows his stuff, more so than the average hair transplant doctor. It is evident in the way he speaks on the hair forums. The man is interested in hair follicle biology and seems to be very determined to advance hair regenerative capabilities in his practice. For that I give him kudos.

The main purpose of the study

Dr. Cole is ultimately doing this study to find a protocol of administering PRP that grows hair the best. Some of the variables include concentration of PRP, activation of PRP, or mixing with ECM products. Once defined, the protocol is to be shared with other physicians so they too can administer PRP in the most efficacious manner. What a guy. Thanks Dr. Cole, we appreciate it. Here are some words from the doctor about this study:

“There are many different protocols for delivering PRP. Some work. Some don’t. Our goal is to define the optimal methods to administer PRP. We are looking at concentrations of platelets and methods to activate PRP or to release growth factors. Our goal is to set a functional protocol and to eliminate protocols that do not work.”
“The treatment protocols will follow some European studies that show great response in limited numbers of patients in the study. I also want to study mechanical ways to disrupt platelets because i’m not convinced that calcium will activate platelets. Rather, it is necessary for platelet activation. Forms of thrombin carry risks and they should not be injected so i’m less interested in studying thrombin.”

“I don’t think most physicians really understand PRP. I don’t blame them. There is no place you can look to find a concise explanation. You have to do some digging. Once you do some digging, you realize just how fascinating this subject is. You also discover how little we know and how different the protocols are. The simplest method to prepare PRP is to spin down the blood, draw off the top of the platelet poor plasma and then take the remaining plasma and call it PRP. This costs next to nothing to prepare and it’s literally worth nothing. It’s at best a 1x concentration containing about 70% of the initial platelet fraction, if that. Then you inject it with or without an activator and consider that you delivered PRP. All you have delivered is some platelets and you hope that they burst and release growth factors. One study showed that a 1X concentration of platelets without activation does nothing for you, yet many physicians still deliver this to promote hair growth.

Other studies show that delivering over 1 million platelets per microliter (150,000 per microliter is found in whole blood) in three injections separated by 1 to 2 months in the presence of some form of activation such as calcium increases follicle numbers, increases hair diameter, thickens the epidermis, and increases vascularity. Thus, this is the starting point for our study. We want to also reduce the granulocyte count, maintain the mononuclear cell count, while maintaining a high platelet fold increase. Granulocytes promote swelling and they are adversely productive while mononuclear cells are positive. Unfortunately, as you reduce the hematocrit, you also reduce platelets. So, the question is how can we maintain a higher percentage of platelets while reducing the granulocyte population?”

Some good questions and observations from the doctor. I am interested in connecting with biologists and research scientists who could answer those questions. Know anyone? Drop a line in the comments.

Details about the planned studies:
-Participants must not be taking the hair loss medications Finasteride, Minoxidil, or Dutasteride-Participants must not be taking Aspirin or non-steroidal medications.
-Participants must not be taking sterioids
-As of now, participants will pay a $750.00 fee for three injections over a period of 6-12 months, but will be refunded for total cost after they have received final injection and followed up with Dr. Cole.
-The office is looking for 50 or greater participants.

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