Online and face-to-face programmes to suit your CPD needs, apply now for September 2018
Page URL: https://www.bionews.org.uk/page_95949

Stem cells used to treat erectile dysfunction

3 April 2017
Appeared in BioNews 895

Men with erectile dysfunction following prostate surgery were able to have intercourse again after receiving an experimental stem cell therapy using cells taken from their own abdomen, a Danish study has shown.

Six months after undergoing a one-time stem cell treatment, eight out of 21 men enrolled in the clinical trial were able to have sex without the use of other medicines or implants.

'This is the first time stem cell therapy has allowed patients to recover sufficient erectile function to enable intercourse,' said Dr Martha Haahr of Odense University and lead researcher of the phase I clinical trial.

Doctors used liposuction to collect fat from the patient's abdomen, from which stem cells were isolated and then injected into the patient's penis. 'We do not cultivate the cells or change them in any way,' said Dr Haahr.

The procedure was performed under general anaesthesia and patients were discharged the same day. Once injected, the stem cells begin to change into muscle and nerve cells, as well as the endothelial cells that line blood vessels.

Within six months, eight of the 21 men involved reported that they had recovered sufficient erectile function to achieve penetrative sex. None reported any significant side effects. Prostate surgery can affect bladder control, as well as erectile function, and only men who were continent reported the recovered erectile function.

'These men had previously seen no effect from traditional medical treatment and continue to have good erectile function after 12 months follow-up, indicating that this might be a long-term solution,' said Dr Haahr, who presented the findings at the European Association of Urology's (EAU) annual meeting in London.

'This is interesting and novel research,' said Professor Jens Sønksen, member of the EAU Scientific Congress Committee and not involved with the research. He said the study was 'preliminary and more research is needed on the topic', but added that 'there is no doubt that stem cell therapy will become an important tool in the treatment of erectile dysfunction'.

Erectile dysfunction affects nearly half of men between the ages 40 and 70 to some degree. In addition to prostate surgery, other physical causes of erectile dysfunction include diabetes and vascular disease.

The current work only studied physical damage after prostate surgery, but Dr Haahr said that the treatment could also be an effective 'therapeutic option for patients suffering from erectile dysfunction from other causes.'

'We need to remember that this is a small trial, with no control group. We're still some time away from a clinically available solution,' said Dr Haahr. 'We are now beginning a larger phase II trial to better evaluate its effectiveness and confirm its safety.'

SOURCES & REFERENCES
Stem cell breakthrough offers hope for men with erectile dysfunction after prostate surgery
The Independent |  25 March 2017
Stem cells help some men with erectile dysfunction after prostate surgery
The Guardian |  25 March 2017
Stem cells shown to restore erection capability in men with erectile dysfunction
European Association of Urology |  25 March 2017
RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE
30 April 2018 - by Georgia Everett 
A team of surgeons in the USA has successfully performed the first full penis and scrotum transplant on a wounded veteran...
20 March 2017 - by Paul Waldron 
In two different attempts to treat degenerative eye diseases with stem cells, three patients have been blinded, while disease progression has been stopped in a separate patient...
27 February 2017 - by Caroline Casey 
Scientists have developed a way of growing thousands of human hair cells – sensors in the inner ear that detect sound – from stem cells...
27 February 2017 - by Jamie Rickman 
A study has demonstrated that a new, one-off stem cell treatment for multiple sclerosis can 'freeze' progression of the disease for five years in some patients...
6 February 2017 - by Emma Laycock 
Stem cell secretions, called exosomes, appear to protect retinal cells in rats, offering a potential therapy for degenerative eye diseases like glaucoma...
21 July 2014 - by Simon Hazelwood-Smith 
Men who cycle regularly are not more likely to be infertile, an observational study on British cycling habits has found...
HAVE YOUR SAY
Log in to add a Comment.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions


Syndicate this story - click here to enquire about using this story.