Rationale of combination therapy with antioxidants in medical management of Peyronie's disease: results of clinical application

Peyronie's disease (PD) is a connective tissue disorder involving the tunica albuginea of the corpora cavernosa of the penis. We have published several studies describing a "combined therapy" for PD patients, but the present study aims to clearly demonstrate how the association between various antioxidants in PD treatment can significantly increase the likelihood of therapeutic success. We used the following substances: silymarin, ginkgo biloba, vitamin E, bilberry, topical diclofenac sodium, and pentoxifylline (PTX). We analyzed the therapeutic impact and possible side effects of one or more antioxidants in patients with early-stage PD. To clearly prove that it is possible to achieve better results when combining more than one agent, we designed this study with five treatment groups, corresponding, respectively, to the administration of a single oral antioxidant; two oral antioxidants; three oral antioxidants; five oral antioxidants + local diclofenac; and five oral antioxidants + local diclofenac + PTX by perilesional injection. One hundred and twenty patients were assigned to five groups of treatment designed according to the abovementioned study aim. Outcomes after 6 months of treatment showed that combined antioxidant therapy is effective in treating PD. Statistical analysis showed significant differences between the treatment groups with regard to: improvement and disappearance of penile pain; percentage of reduction in the volume of penile plaque; reduction in penile curvature; recovery of erectile function in patients with erectile dysfunction; increase in the International Index of Erectile Function score; and reduction of psychosexual impact. Furthermore, we observed that the clinical efficacy of combined therapy is greater when topical use of diclofenac gel and perilesional injection of PTX are added to oral treatment with more than one antioxidant. Although several articles have already been published reporting the effectiveness of combined treatment in PD, this is the first study clearly proving how, as the number of substances used in treatment rises, a proportionally greater therapeutic effect is achieved.

Research and reports in urology. 2017 Jul 20*** epublish ***

Gianni Paulis, Andrea Paulis, Gennaro Romano, Davide Barletta, Andrea Fabiani

Department of Surgical Sciences, Andrology Center, Regina Apostolorum Hospital, Rome, Italy., Section of Psycho-Sexology, Peyronie's Disease Care Center, Rome, Italy., Department of Urologic Oncology, Section of Avellino, Italian League against Cancer, Avellino, Italy., Department of Urology, Andrology Center, San Matteo Hospital, Pavia, Italy., Department of Surgery, Section of Urology and Andrology, Macerata, Italy.

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