One of major roadblock in finding an effective treatment is that we are middle age men with a dick problem. We do not get much sympathy. The current Zeitgeist can best be summed up by paraphrasing the great English writer George Orwell in his novel Animal Farm, Woman Good, Man Bad. Almost nothing could be funnier than a man's penis. I have written about this before. When there is a report about penis research it is reported in a joking way and the comments are even more mocking. For example, there was an article about regenerative medicine focusing on the penis and here are just a few comments:
Soooo we haven't found a cure for cancer.....but we sure found a cure for "penis trouble."
Yeah, that's what happens when men are in charge. Well - I am guessing this will be the end of all the ethical problems with stem cell research.
Looks like stem cell research is really going to take off. Possible paralysis cure? Who cares. Regenerates tissue? Big deal. What? It can help men with sexual problems?! This must be studied immediately!
It should be in pretty good shape. After all, he hasn't used it that much....... much like his brain.
Contrast this with an article that appeared in the New York Times on the topic of women's self image. It was titled "Power of the Rouge Pot." Sympathetic, serious and oh such an important topic with thoughtful comments. No one in the comment section could be anything other than so thoughtful. You can see any number of these articles in the main press.
Why am I bringing this up, do I just want to do some additional typing? No! In my readings I come across many important research articles about other diseases and think this could help me with Peyronies Disease. In my mind the reason there is so little Peyronies research is that it is not considered all that important. But, I am not going to let that stop me. Maybe writing about it will inspire someone with influence and money to attempt to adapt these research approaches to our disease. Maybe unrealistic, but life has to go one and optimism certainly beats defeatism.
Regenerative Medicine is the key for a complete cure for our disease. I have written about this before. In its most basic, it requires some type of platform or scaffold to let stem cells grow and replace the damaged tissue. Here is an article about a novel way to use the stem cell approach to heal a knee injury. I don't see why it could not be used for men with Peyronies Disease. Any biotech entrepreneurs out there?
Researchers at the University of Wollongong and the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) have developed the BioPen, a tool that allows surgeons to repair injured bones and joints by laying down customized implants during surgery with high precision and ease.
This hand held 3D printer works by “drawing” a biomaterial scaffolding that encases stem cells. The composite biomaterial includes a cell-viable hydrogel, such as alginate, surrounded by an outer protective layer. As the scaffolding and stem cells are applied, the BioPen cures and sets the implant in place with an attached low-powered ultraviolet light. The process can be repeated to build the entire implant in real-time, layer-by-layer. As the wound heals, the stem cells work to restore tissue into its healthy state, and multiply and differentiate into bone, muscle, or nerve cells. The team plans on also incorporating growth factors and drugs into the mix to try to control the differentiation of the implanted stem cells and further improve recovery. The BioPen has now completed its prototyping stage, and is currently undergoing optimization for clinical trials.
To my non-medically trained eye it certainly looks like this approach would fit very nicely into a Peyronies Disease research project.
More Peyronies Disease Research - In Brief
Recently diagnosed? Maybe you should do nothing. Sloan-Kettering examined 176 men who were diagnosed with Peyronies Disease, opted for no treatment and were followed for 12 months. Mean: age was 54 years, Peyronies duration 9 months and mean curvature was 42 degrees.
67% of the population had no change in deformity over time
Stabilization was more likely in older patients and those with a time to initial presentation of +6 months
Improvements rates were higher among younger men and those who presented themselves in less than 6 months
What About Penile Traction Therapy Some Men Swear By It
Two respected urologists reviewed the literature on this subject and came to some surprising conclusions. The ideal candidate for this therapy is:
Men with the acute phase of the disease
Absence of calcified plaque
Prior to Treatment - Acceptable girth/absences of hour glass deformity
Normal erectile function
Highly motivated (minimum 4-6 hrs daily for 3-6 months)
Additional multimodal treatment strategy
The researchers note that they have reviewed a number of studies involving traction therapy and there is significant variability in outcomes. It appears that if a man who meets the above requirements and is willing to put in a significant effort he may expect some improvement in curvature and some increase in penile length. However, no increase in girth should be expected. Finally and the most disappointing finding - No strong evidence that penile traction therapy will result in beneficial effects on the sexual function of men with Peyronies Disease.
Can Any Of My Readers Answer This Question Because I Can Not
For quite some time there has been anecdotal evidence that a class of drugs used for treating high blood pressure, i.e., beta blockers contribute to the development of Peyronies Disease. By what chemical process would beta blockers potentially have this effect? Does anyone know of studies performed on men or laboratory rats that have tested the hypothesis that beta blockers (at any dose) causes Peyronies Disease?