Men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and need to have a gland surgically removed may suffer some temporary nerve damage. Complications of this major nerve could lead to more health concerns, including the killing of healthy cells in the penis, as well as erectile dysfunction.
However, researchers have discovered a protein that could speed up recovery of this complication. Using rats, the team of investigators administered sonic hedgehog, the beneficial protein, into the animals, using a gel that contains a high amount of nutrient.
The team of investigators discovered that the nerve regenerated twice as fast compared to if it healed on its own. This could lead to further research that may also help in treating peripheral nerves in the face that were damaged from certain types of cancer.
Successful studies may lead to improving male patients lives after surgery “because men are being diagnosed at a younger age and live longer due to improved cancer therapies,” said Carol Podlasek, assistant professor of urology at Northwestern Universitys Feinburg School of Medicine.
These results may benefit prostate cancer patients for a more effective, natural treatment for the illness, as a recent report states. Other non-surgical procedures for these health complications have not been successful for the majority of experimental trial participants.