Erythropoietin Fails to Improve Erectile Function Recovery After Radical Prostatectomy, Study Reveals

A study has revealed that use of erythropoietin, which is a promising neurotrophic factor for neurogenic erectile dysfunction based on preclinical and retrospective data, has failed to improve the recovery of erectile function in men undergoing radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer compared with placebo.

Photo: Person Undergoing Prostatectomy | InStyleHealth


Phase II, double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled trial was performed from July 2017 to December 2019. Researchers evaluated the impact of perioperative erythropoietin on recovery of erectile function and other patient-reported, health-related quality of life outcomes after bilateral nerve-sparing radical prostatectomy.

Erythropoietin (20,000 units) or saline placebo was injected subcutaneously the day before, day of, and day after the surgery for three total doses. There were 63 patients were assessed for eligibility, however, only 56 with median age of 55.5 years were randomized (29 erythropoietin and 27 placebo; 89.3% robotic).

The International Index of Erectile Function-Erectile Function Domain (IIEF-EF) scores increased from median 12.5 at 3 months to 24.5 at 12 months. Median 2-week serum hemoglobin was higher for men receiving erythropoietin than those on placebo (14.7 vs 13.6).

There was no statistical significant difference was noted in IIEF-EF scores at 6 months between erythropoietin and placebo or at other time points. Furthermore, a correlation existed between excellent nerve-sparing rating (10/10) and improved IIEF-EF recovery.

Other patient-reported, health-related quality of life domains, as well as oncologic outcome and complications, were comparable between the two treatment arms, during the follow-up.

Experts said that further research is required to identify effective adjuncts to improve health-related quality of life for these men.

 

Source: J Urol 2021;205:1681-1688

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