Stem cells could heal impotence

“Replacing Viagra by injecting stem cells insitu”, an idea that seems promising, especially for a certain category of patients.

Is it possible to replace Viagra with liposuction? “It seems that yes,” say the researchers.

According to the results of a study, men who underwent a prostate gland operation due to cancer, have recovered enough of their erectile function to have a sexual intercourse with penetration, thanks to a treatment based on stem cells.

According to preliminary promising data, 8 of 21 men treated managed to restore sexual function.

The results of the study should be presented on Saturday at the London Congress of the European Association of Urology.

We are talking about patients who have had complications after surgery (“radical prostatectomy”), conducted in the context of treatment of prostate cancer.

Adipose tissue from the abdomen

Researchers used stem cells extracted under general anesthesia with liposuction from the fatty abdominal tissue of patients. None of the 21 men reported any significant side effects during either the probation period or a year later. After the necessary treatment, the stem cells were injected directly into the penis.

Six months after the treatment, 8 of 21 patients restored sufficient erectile function for the possibility of intercourse with penetration. These improvements remained for a year.

A positive effect, without the use of drugs (Viagra or Cialis), was observed only in patients who could  hold urine, that is, 8 out of 15. Urinary incontinence is a risk factor for complete removal of the prostate.

According to the doctor who participated in the research, it’s the first time when stem cell therapy allows patients to restore enough erectile function for sexual intercourse.

“Small test”

The results of the first stage of the test, originally designed to test the safety of the method, according to the researchers, indicates the possibility of treating patients suffering from erectile dysfunction for other reasons, for example, due to diabetes mellitus. Nevertheless, “this has been a small test for the time being without a control (comparative) group,” said the doctor, who participated in the tests.

However, the team received approval from the Danish authorities to go directly to the 3rd phase of the trial to evaluate the effectiveness of the method on more patients operated  for prostate cancer.

Only patients able to hold urine will be admitted to the test and will compare their results with the control group treated with placebo.

There is no doubt that stem cell-based therapy will be an important tool in the treatment of erectile dysfunction, according to the Danish Professor, a participant in the trial. According to some information, clinics in Asia already offer this method of treatment, but without scientific justification and necessary tests.

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