Stem Cells Treatment for Peyronie’s Disease
Recent advances in stem cell technologies have provided a new possibility of treatment for Peyronie’s disease — Stem Cells.
What is Peyronie’s disease?
Peyronie’s disease affects men and the soft tissue in their penis. Peyronie’s disease is defined as the development of fibrous scar tissue inside the penis that causes curved, painful erections. Penises can vary in shape and size, and having a curved erection isn’t always a cause for concern. However, Peyronie’s disease causes a significant bend and pain in some men with the condition.
This can prevent them from having sex, and may even make it difficult to get, or maintain, an erection. This erectile dysfunction in men can cause stress and anxiety for men and their partners. Peyronie’s disease sometimes goes away on its own, but in most cases, it will remain stable and even worsen with time. Treatment might be needed if the curvature is severe enough that it prevents successful sexual intercourse or causes pain too severe to manage.
Stem Cells for Peyronie’s Disease
Stem cells can be derived from a variety of different sources (fatty tissues, etc.), but all share the common feature of being able to differentiate into multiple different kinds of cells.
During the process of differentiation, stem cells also produce a variety of chemicals and growth factors that promote the growth and repair of damaged tissues. The stem cells produce chemicals that regulate the body’s immune response, which can reduce inflammation and some of the other negative side effects related to an over-active immune response.
With Peyronie’s disease, in particular, the relevant chemicals secreted by the stem cells during the differentiation process are those that reduce the production of structural proteins that contribute to the formation of the fibrous plaques.
In any event, stem cell treatments are known to be safe and relatively non-invasive. They pose little to no risk of rejection by the body and the entire procedure can be undertaken with only a few injections, which is much less invasive than the kinds of surgeries that would be normally used for treating Peyronie’s disease.
Studies Examining Stem Cell Therapy for Peyronie’s Disease
There have been a variety of studies investigating the effectiveness of a number of stem cell treatments for the disease.
A study carried out in 2015 investigated the use of stem cell-based treatments for human patients suffering from Peyronie’s disease. Rather than using stem-cells derived from the patient’s own tissues, this study used stem cells obtained from placentas.
The study investigated changes to the volume of plaques found within the penis, as well as the degree of curvature and erectile function at intervals of 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months. The results showed improvements in some aspects of erectile function, as well as a reduction of size or entire disappearances of some of the plaques being treated. This is highly encouraging for the possibility of improved treatments in the future.
Preliminary research suggests that stem cell therapy using stromal vascular fraction (SVF) offers promise for the treatment of Peyronie disease (PD). SVF is a mixture of adipose-derived stem cells, endothelial precursor cells, and immune-modulatory cells that act synergistically to facilitate angiogenesis and differentiation of epithelial cells. As a result, SVF promotes the reconstitution of vasculature and endothelial lining in patients with PD.
What is adipose-derived stem cell therapy?
Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can become any type of new cell or tissue. They have played a large role in recent regenerative medicine practices because of their ability to restore full or partial function to damaged tissue by stimulating the natural healing properties we have in our body.
Stem cell therapy has been proven to repair degenerated, damaged, and injured tissues and cells. Recently, various types of stem cells have been studied for their use as a treatment in regenerative medicine like adipose-derived stem cells, bone marrow-derived stem cells, and stem cells from fetal tissue. The least controversial method is harvesting stem cells is from fat tissue because the procedure is nearly pain-free.
Adipose-derived stem cells are taken from a patient’s fat tissue in a minimally invasive procedure, unlike harvesting stem cells from bone marrow tissue. The stem cells taken from fat tissue are easily obtained, as they are abundant in fat deposits that everyone has.
Adipose-derived stem cells are blank slates that can become whatever you tell them to become, even in areas that have been damaged. Fat-derived stem cells have been said to be superior to bone marrow-derived stem cells because the procedure is less invasive and less painful and the amount never decreases as you age.
How can stem cells help with the symptoms of Peyronie’s disease?
Initial clinical trials have found that stem cells can heal the damaging plaque that causes painful Peyronie’s disease symptoms and decrease penile curvature. This is promising research that shows the potential for stem cell therapy as a treatment for Peyronie’s disease.
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