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Stem Cells in Erectile Dysfunction

Hard to Treat Cases

It is believed that a large sub-group of the millions of men that suffer from erectile dysfunction do not respond well to current treatments, such as Viagra. However, recent reports suggest that there is reason for optimism within this group, as there is progress in the development of additional treatment options for erectile dysfunction.

Latest Developments

Two key developments within research and treatment of erectile dysfunction are noteworthy; Vitaros and stem-cell research. The former is a topical gel that has been introduced in the UK and contains an active ingredient called alprodastil, which works by dilating the penile arteries. Although there are other treatments that contain alprodastil, they have not been widely used due to the invasiveness of the procedures required. Specifically, up until recently, the main treatment using alprodastil required that small pellets containing alprodastil were inserted into the urethra or that alprodastil was injected into the penis.

Use of Stem Cells

About a month ago a study was presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Urlogical Association. The researches explained how they had injected amniotic stem cells into the penis of eight patients. Somewhat remarkably, all of the participants demonstrated increased blood flow to the penis in the follow up periods of one, three and six months. A subgroup of five patients also reported an ability to get erections on their own or with the use of oral treatments. Based on this, the researchers concluded that their treatment has shown sustainable improvement in the blood flow of the penis, which in turn pointed towards ‘the body healing itself’.

Although the stem cell research results sound intriguing, we are somewhat sceptical at this point. There is insufficient information about the highly limited sample, including co-morbidities. In addition to that, little is known about how the results were measured and analysed. Whilst we hope that the presentation reflects good results that end up being accepted for publication, we are also aware of the amount of research that will be required before these findings are given serious consideration in developing treatment options.

Nevertheless, it is clear that more treatment options are emerging. We are glad that they reflect less invasive procedures and target a broader group of erectile dysfunction sufferers.

We do not have the full details of the latest research but here is a link to an earlier study, which also showed some promising results -