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An Educational Organization
Dedicated to Scientific
Methods to Prevent and
Reverse Hair Loss.
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Marty E. Sawaya, MD, PhD
Marty (Mary) E. Sawaya is a Dermatologist and Principal Investigator of Clinical Research at ARATEC (Alopecia Research & Associated Technologies) in Ocala, Florida. Dr. Sawaya’s academic appointment is Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at the University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, where she continues her basic scientific research work in dermatological skin diseases.
Dr. Sawaya received both MD and PhD degrees at the University of Miami School of Medicine in 1983 and 1986, with research postdoctoral training in the Department of Dermatology at University of Miami 1987-88. She completed clinical residency training in Dermatology at SUNY Brooklyn, New York and University of Florida College of Medicine. Dr Sawaya is a steroid biochemist whose research has been focused on hair diseases and disorders since 1981. Specific research focused on androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata earned Dr. Sawaya the merit of a five year National Institutes of Health Award Grant (1992-1997), as well as multiple awards since 1989 from the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (4 grants, with current 1999-2000), and the Dermatology Foundation. Dr. Sawaya is currently Chairman of the AAD Liaison Committee to the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) branch of the NIH. Dr. Sawaya is on the Medical Advisory Board for the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF), San Rafael, California.
Dr. Sawaya’s current clinical research is also focused on cutaneous cancers, such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinomas, and malignant melanomas with regard to apoptosis (programmed cell death). This current work integrates hair diseases in the study of the hair follicle cycle and regulation of apoptotic (cell death) mechanisms, and recently received a 2nd Merck Education Research Grant, and has formed a research collaboration with Merck-Frosst, Canada in the study of Caspases in hair diseases.
Past and current clinical research studies at ARATEC includes clinical trials for: Merck & Co., Galderma Co., Fujisawa Healthcare Co., Novartis, Parke-Davis Co., 3M Co., Glaxo-Wellcome, Bristol Myers Squibb Co., Pharmacia Upjohn Co., Neutrogena, and others.
Dr. Sawaya consults with various pharmaceutical companies for product research and development as related to dermatology, with emphasis on hair diseases.
Dr. Sawaya has published more than 30 original research papers as first author, three papers in preparation, 18 book chapters, 39 abstracts, and is co-editor for the new Hair & Nails book (Eds: Hordinsky, Sawaya, Scher) published in 2000, by Churchill-Livingston/Saunders Publishers, Philadelphia, PA.
DR. SEWAYA REPORTS ON UPCOMING AND EXITSTING TREATMENTS FOR HAIRLOSS
Dr. Sewaya, of the University of Florida, considered by many to be the foremost authority on hair loss treatment in the world, reported on the status of some upcoming and existing treatments at the WAHRS Live Surgical Workshop in Orlando.
She initially talked about shampoos and some possible associated benefits for hair loss. She specifically recommends rotating the following products based upon their ability to reduce the inflammatory reaction responsible for itching, and general inflammation in the balding areas: Nizoral (Ketoconazole), Neutrogenea T-Gel (coal tar), and Head and Shoulders (Zinc). It is her contention that this inflammatory reaction can cause permanent damage in the follicle and skin.
She reviewed Propecia (finasteride) and it's possible side effects, in essence stating that it will be a relatively safe drug to use.
For pattern hair loss in women she mentioned some specific treatment options:
Spironolactone 100 - 200 mg.
Flutamide 250 mg. po tid
Cimetidine (tagamet) 300 mg. po 5 x day
Dexamethasone 25 - .75 mg/night
Cyproterone Acetate (Androcus) 50 - 150 mg./day
She also stated that several tests would need to be done by a physician to determine the exact cause of hair loss before embarking on any treatment protocol, and that oral contraceptives could be a factor. The two most androgenic, and thus potentially hair loss aggravating were loestrogen and norgestral. When asked about the role of estrogens and progesterones in hair loss she stated they could either be an inhibitor or an androgen, depending on the individual. (Editor's note: Often there are many paradoxical effects when using fully formed hormones. Anabolic steroids (testosterones) often produce estrogenic side effects, and antiestrogens possibly induce hair growth... go figure).
Her potent and promising, yet to be released, topical antriandrogen, RU58841 was discussed. Unfortunately, due to corporate politics at Roussel-Uclaf, it will not become commercially available anytime soon.
In terms of up and coming treatments, she mentioned that Glaxo Wellcom is in the initial stages of testing a 5-alpha reductase type I and type II inhibitor. Remember that Propecia (finasteride) is exclusively a 5-alpha reductase type II inhibitor and gets proven results. This combination should work even better. Except it to be commercially available by 2003.