News Release

Muscle-derived stem cells prove effective in reparing sphincter damage to restore continence

Peer-Reviewed Publication

American Urological Association

ORLANDO, FL, May 20, 2008 – 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 presented today at the 103rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA), show that patients with incontinence resulting from iatrogenic sphincter damage may benefit from this therapy. Researchers from Germany and Austria presented findings from two studies to reporters in special press conferences on May 20, 2008 at 1:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.

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 four 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. 27.9 percent of patients did not wear pads at all and 43.6 percent reported that they only required a pad for “special occasions.” Only 28.5 percent of patients still required pads.


In addition to the author, Tomas L. Griebling, M.D., will be on hand to answer questions and provide third-party perspective on the study.

NOTE TO REPORTERS: Experts are available to discuss these studies outside normal briefing times. To arrange an interview with an expert, please contact the AUA Communications Office at the number above or e-mail Wendy Isett at

Otto T, Eimer C, Gerullis H: Repair of iatrogenic sphincter damage and urinary incontinence by autologous skeletal muscle derived cells (MDC). J Urol, suppl., 2008; 179: 484, abstract 1414.

Strasser H, Mitterberger M, Dalpiaz O, Kerschbaumer A, Pinggera GM, Frauscher F et al: Transurethral ultrasound guided injection of autologous myo- and fibroblasts in treatment of incontinence in men: 2 year data. J Urol, suppl., 2008; 179: 483, abstract 1413.

About the American Urological Association: Founded in 1902 and headquartered near Baltimore, Maryland, the American Urological Association is the pre-eminent professional organization for urologists, with more than 15,000 members throughout the world. An educational nonprofit organization, the AUA pursues its mission of fostering the highest standards of urologic care by carrying out a wide variety of programs for members and their patients, including, an award-winning on-line patient education resource, and the American Urological Association Foundation, Inc.

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