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Hair pigmentation is regulated by several factors including the interaction of the ligand stem cell factor (SCF) with its class III receptor tyrosine kinase, c-kit. An interruption of SCF/c-kit signal transduction results in hair depigmentation.
A 69-year-old white woman developed hair depigmentation and fine-textured hair while being treated with the phase I chemotherapeutic agent GW786034, a class III/V receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Discontinuation of therapy resulted in a reversal of these hair changes.
Treatment with oral GW786034 resulted in reversible hair depigmentation and change in hair growth rate and texture, which were most likely due to an incomplete inhibition of SCF/c-kit signaling, although the exact mechanism is unknown. It would be intriguing to investigate topical tyrosine kinase inhibitors as a treatment for unwanted body hair.
Routhouska S, Gilliam AC, Mirmirani P. Hair Depigmentation During Chemotherapy With a Class III/V Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor. Arch Dermatol. 2006;142(11):1477–1479. doi:10.1001/archderm.142.11.1477
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