Transplantation of muscle-derived stem cells may provide a safe and effective treatment for patients suffering from urinary incontinence following a surgical procedure. Two studies show that patients with incontinence resulting from iatrogenic sphincter damage may benefit from this therapy. Researchers are from Germany and Austria.
Certain medical procedures, including transurethral resection of the prostate and radical prostatectomy can result in damage to the external urinary sphincter. In one study, a German research team successfully implanted muscle cells grown from tissue from the patients’ deltoid muscles into the damaged sphincter. One year later, four patients were completely continent and 19 patients had improved from grade III to grade I incontinence. With more than half of the patients experiencing an improvement in continence after 4 months, the use of muscle-derived cells to repair sphincter damage proved successful. Minor side effects were observed in five patients.
A second study reaffirmed these findings. Using muscle cells from the upper arms of 65 incontinent men who had undergone a prostatectomy, researchers in Austria grew the cells in a laboratory and then implanted them. Patients were evaluated before the surgery to define their level of incontinence and evaluated post-operatively to monitor complications. Prior to therapy, the mean number of pads used per day was 4.89, and after treatment, the mean number of pads decreased to 1.59. The percentage of patients who did not wear pads at all was 27.9 and 43.6 percent reported that they only required a pad for “special occasions.” Only 28.5 percent of patients still required pads.
Illustration: Skeletal muscle tissue. –Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative.
Science Daily (05/17/08)
Medical News Today (05/19/08)
Abstracts (103rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association, Eur. Urol. Suppl. 2008;7(3):87, Nos. 66 and 67)