2017-NEW STEM CELL TREATMENT FOR ED... ANY MEN INTERESTED IN HAVING STEM CELL TREATMENT DONE?

A study published earlier this month found more than 80% of men lost the ability to have erections after radical prostatectomy — Danish researchers trying to find a way to help men badly injured by prostate cancer surgery say they got mixed results with an experimental new approach: injecting them with stem cells.

Only a few of the men were helped, and those men were able to have sex after the treatment, the researchers told a meeting of urologists. The researchers' findings suggest that men should stay away — at least for now — from clinics that already offer stem cell treatment for erectile dysfunction. Of the 21 men, 14 were still continent; they did not have damage to their ability to control urination. Out of those 14 men, 8 regained sexual function and kept it for a year after a single stem cell injection, Haahr told the European Association of Urology. Danish researchers trying to find a way to help men badly injured by prostate cancer surgery say they got mixed results with an experimental new approach: injecting them with stem cells.

Only a few of the men were helped, and those men were able to have sex after the treatment, the researchers told a meeting of urologists. The researchers' findings suggest that men should stay away — at least for now — from clinics that already offer stem cell treatment for erectile dysfunction. CIPhotos / Getty Images/iStockphoto. The researchers' findings suggest that men should stay away — at least for now — from clinics that already offer stem cell treatment for erectile dysfunction. But their findings also suggest that men who become impotent after prostate surgery shouldn't give up hope. "After six months, eight of the men could initiate sexual intercourse," said Dr. Martha Haahr of Odense University Hospital. "What we have done establishes that this technique can lead to men recovering a spontaneous erection — in other words, without the use of other medicines, injections, or implants," Haahr added. Related: Clinics Offer Unproven Stem Cell Treatments Erectile dysfunction is very common, and it's led to a booming market in drugs such as Viagra and Cialis, as well as an industry providing penis implants and other treatments. The dysfunction is caused by a variety of factors. Heart disease and diabetes can damage the blood vessels in the penis, for example. And prostate cancer treatment can damage the nerves and blood vessels in the surrounding area. “If it’s as effective as we think, it could help many kinds of men.” A study published earlier this month found more than half of men lost the ability to have sex after radical prostatectomy — extensive surgery done to remove a cancerous prostate. That's more than the 40 percent or so of men treated using external beam radiation. Haahr's team worked with some of the most hard-core cases: men whose nerves had been badly damaged by prostate surgery. "We could not damage their erectile function any more than it already was," Haahr said. They worked with a small group — just 21 men. Each man got a single injection of his own stem cells, in this case, mesenchymal stem cells separated out from their own body fat. If it's done right, these procedures have been shown to be safe. The patient's fat is removed with a syringe, processed in a lab to separate out the semi-mature stem cells, which are re-injected. Because the patient's own cells are used and not manipulated, the Food and Drug Administration doesn't usually regulate these procedures.

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