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Pathophysiology and Future Therapeutic Perspectives for Resolving Fibrosis in Peyronie's Disease.

Peyronie's disease (PD) is a debilitating affliction for the male population, causing severe curvatures to the erect penis and erectile dysfunction in about 50% of men. This deviation of the penis significantly impairs sexual intercourse and causes depression and strains in the relationship. As of today, medical treatment options are few and far between, with surgery remaining as the sole reliable treatment.

To give a general overview regarding fibrosis and the specific role of extracellular matrix, macrophages, and myofibroblasts in PD. Additionally, we will provide an overview of past and present research and how this has shaped our vision concerning the pathophysiology of PD.

We performed a non-systematic literature review using the search terms "fibrosis," "pathophysiology," "myofibroblast," "extracellular matrix," "Peyronie's disease," and "drug discovery."

We assessed current knowledge regarding fibrosis in PD and the possibility to use this knowledge for new treatment options.

Interpreting findings from the most recent next-generation sequencing, in vitro and in vivo PD research, we provide novel insights for the pathophysiology of PD. Using this knowledge, we will attempt to provide future directions for PD research and drug discovery, which is urgently needed, because its treatment has essentially been stagnating for about 30 years.

Historically, PD has not been studied as widely as kidney, lung, or hepatic fibrosis, and our knowledge of its pathophysiology still remains relatively obscure. Nonetheless, recent breakthroughs using stem cells, next-generation sequencing, and phenotypical screening assays bring us several steps closer to filling the gaps in our knowledge. In the near future, clinical trials will prove essential to translate this plethora of preclinical data into usable tools that can improve the lives of many of our patients. Milenkovic U, Ilg MM, Cellek S, et al. Pathophysiology and Future Therapeutic Perspectives for Resolving Fibrosis in Peyronie's Disease. Sex Med Rev 2019;XX:XXX-XXX.

Sexual medicine reviews. 2019 Apr 05 [Epub ahead of print]

Uros Milenkovic, Marcus M Ilg, Selim Cellek, Maarten Albersen

Laboratory of Experimental Urology, Department of Development and Regeneration, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium; Department of Urology, University Hospitals of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium., Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care, Medical Technology Research Centre, Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, United Kingdom., Laboratory of Experimental Urology, Department of Development and Regeneration, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium; Department of Urology, University Hospitals of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium. Electronic address: .

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