Erectile Dysfunction: Clinical Trials

From the WebMD Archives

There are currently several clinical trials under way for treating erectile dysfunction (ED) caused by prostate cancer.

Trial 1

In this study, the effectiveness of nerve-sparing prostatectomy (surgical removal of the entire prostate while preserving the erection-controlling nerves), with and without nerve grafting, followed by standard therapy is being examined. Participants will be in one of two groups: the first group will have nerve-sparing prostatectomy with nerve grafting, then will use a standard therapy such as Viagra, a vacuum constriction device, injection therapy, or MUSE (suppository in urethra for erections) therapy. Participants in the second group will have the nerve-sparing surgery without nerve grafting, and will use the same standard therapy as the first group. The objectives of the study are to compare the two types of surgery for effectiveness and their effects on potency rates and erection quality in men after prostate cancer surgery.


Trial 2

This study will be evaluating the effectiveness of Prograf, a medication known to suppress the immune system, in the prevention of erectile dysfunction in men who have had a nerve-sparing prostatectomy. Hopefully, suppressing the immune system will decrease the amount of inflammation to the nerves due to the prostate removal. Participants will be in one of two groups: the first group will receive the active medication and the second group will be given a placebo (such as a sugar pill). The study will look at the percentage of people who can achieve spontaneous erections.

Trial 3

In the third trial, researchers are examining the effectiveness of erectile dysfunction treatment with Viagra versus a placebo for men who have undergone radiation therapy and total androgen suppression for prostate cancer. The studies are attempting to determine if there is a difference in overall sexual function and satisfaction between Viagra and placebo.

Trial 4

This study will be looking at the effects of radiation therapy, high energy X-rays to destroy cancer cells, on erectile dysfunction. It will investigate whether reducing the dose of radiation helps to prevent ED. Participants will be placed into one of two groups: the first one will receive the standard radiation therapy while the second one will receive a restricted dose of radiation.