Stem Cell Treatment, A Promising Solution For Erectile Dysfunction After Prostate Cancer Treatments [VIDEO]
A lot of men live with erectile dysfunction after prostate cancer treatments and other health conditions but stem cell therapy could provide a long-term solution, a study suggested.
Experts from Odense University Hospital in Denmark led by Dr. Martha Haahr did the initial phase of the trial for stem cell therapy on 21 men. Within six months, their erectile function was better and eight of them were able to have sex. An assessment was done a year after the procedure and these eight men were still able to engage in sexual intercourse despite getting only one stem cell injection.
All the participants in the study had prostate cancer and received radical prostatectomy for treating the condition, which resulted in impotence. Standard medical treatments did not improve their ED. In many of these cases, the nerves had been badly damaged.
For the clinical trial, the researchers took fat cells from the men's abdominal area with a liposuction procedure. The stem cells collected were then injected into the part of the penis which contains most of the blood in an erection.
The study presented at a meeting of the European Association of Urology offers an encouraging solution to men who suffer from erectile dysfunction after prostate cancer treatments. The researchers hope that impotence caused by other treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation, and conditions including diabetes, heart diseases or aging can be helped by stem cell therapy as well.
The group plans to conduct a larger trial to help determine whether a psychological factor had influenced the outcome of the first trial, the NBC News reported.
Patients experience erectile dysfunction after prostate cancer treatments. Radical prostatectomy is the surgical procedure of removing the prostate and the tissues surrounding it.
ED occurs as soon as a patient undergoes the operation. Recovery using the nerve-sparing technique is possible within a year but it may be unlikely with the non-nerve sparing technique.
Prostate cancer patients who undergo radiation therapy may start having impotence after two to three years. It may come as early as two to four weeks after treatment for those who had hormone therapy.
The condition could be permanent in the absence of a medical intervention, according to WebMD.