MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Michael Zahalsky MD
Medical Director of Urological Oncology
North Broward Medical Center, Florida
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Zahalsky: Erectile dysfunction or the inability to maintain an erection satisfactory for sexual intercourse is a disease that affects hundreds of millions of men worldwide. Currently, the most utilized methods to help treat these men include oral medications, injectable medications and penile prostheses.
We sought out new alternatives to treat and potentially even cure erectile dysfunction by using stem cells and biologic-based therapies – treatments that are now being used in various fields of medicine from orthopedics to plastic surgery. We decided to see how their effect will influence Erectile Dysfunction by evaluating blood flow to the penis. In the past we studied Peyronie’s Disease using a similar treatment modality and showed that with a single injection blood flow improved, plaque size decreased, and penile curvature lessened. There have been many animal studies, as well, showing the benefit of biologic-based therapies in the treatment of Erectile Dysfunction and Peyronie’s Disease.
We chose to use placental matrix derived mesenchymal stem cells in this study on Erectile Dysfunction. We had a small sample of 8 patients who underwent treatment. We had statistically significant increase in blood flow into the penis. This was demonstrated by an increase in peak systolic velocity using color doppler on ultrasound.
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Zahalsky: While our sample size was small our results were statistically significant. Blood flow into the penis increased with injection of an amniotic product. Medicine is rapidly changing and further study is warranted, but as in multiple animal studies and our previous study on Peyronie’s Disease, biologic-based therapies appear to improve erectile dysfunction in humans. It is unclear if it is the growth factors in the amnion or the stem cells that caused the improvement in blood flow. Biologic- and Stem Cell-based treatments may prove to be another effective therapeutic approach in men suffering not from erectile dysfunction or Peyronie’s Disease and the entire field of medicine.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Zahalsky: I can spend all day answering this question. There have been dozens of published papers in animals using biologics to treat erectile dysfunction and Peyronie’s Disease, and all of these publications have had successful results. However, I am the first person to publish human research on Peyronie’s Disease and the second to publish human research using any biologic-based therapy for Erectile Dysfunction.
We clearly need more human research. I have started a company called UroCellZ Research and placed twenty experts in the field on my advisory board to help me with this endeavor.
I believe that biologic-based therapy as applications in Urology specifically using amnion-derived products is in its infancy and I believe more research has to be done throughout the field of Urology. UroCellZ Research is happy to help with that as well. During Medical School at Brown University, I received a Master’s Degree with a focus on Epidemiology, so I believe I have uniquely positioned myself to help with this lifelong project.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Dr. Zahalsky: I believe that the use of biologic-based treatments in the field of Urology is in its infancy. At this point, I have dedicated my career to advancing these technologies. Although I have now published papers on Erectile Dysfunction and Peyronie’s Disease, in Urology, this is just the tip of the iceberg. These treatment modalities may help with incontinence procedures, hypospadias repairs, interstitial cystitis, radiation cystitis, dyspareunia and many other Urologic disease processes.
My team believes, amniotic fluid, which is from the genitourinary system and is necessary in fetal development of the genitourinary system, has dozens of growth factors with a yet undiscovered potential in helping in Urologic illnesses. I have created a company called UroCellZ Research to help with the research and education of Urologists in this field. I have put together a twenty physician advisory board to help with this endeavor. This way, when other physicians have questions about products, safety, and efficacy, they can come to a trusted and reliable source.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2016 Jan 1;116(1):e1-5. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2016.007.
Determining the Feasibility of Managing Erectile Dysfunction in Humans With Placental-Derived Stem Cells.
Levy JA, Marchand M, Iorio L, Cassini W, Zahalsky MP.
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