Treatment of Peyronie’s disease, a condition that involves significant curvature of the penis, can be challenging and frustrating for patients. Among the available treatment options are a variety of vitamins or supplements, oral medications, penile injections, and even surgery. One approach that does not get much attention is radiation therapy for Peyronie’s disease.
In a recent retrospective analysis, an international team evaluated the use of superficial radiation therapy for Peyronie’s disease in 83 men who were treated between 1999 and 2008. All of the men received 8 fractions of 4 Gy over six months, and the mean follow-up was more than four years.
The patients responded to a questionnaire and commented on treatment response, side effects, satisfaction with treatment, disease course, and duration of disease before treatment. Here’s what the reviewers noted:
- 3 percent of the men said disease progression had halted while 7 percent said the disease had progressed
- 47 percent of men experienced a regression in symptoms
- Penile curvature improved in 49 percent of men
- Plaque induration could be reduced in 42 percent of patients
- 71 percent said they had substantial pain relief
- 1 percent said radiation therapy had a positive impact on their sex lives, while 53 percent treatment had not helped and 10.8 percent were not certain
- No severe side effects from the radiation treatment was reported, although 38.6 percent had transient erythema (reddening of the skin) and 9.6 percent reported temporary or chronic dryness
Although this study lacked a control group and there may have been a bias on the questionnaire because of subjective responses, the authors noted the high satisfaction from patients regarding radiation therapy for Peyronie’s disease.
In addition to radiation, men with Peyronie’s disease have a wide spectrum of treatment options. Some of them include medications, use of penis pumps, electroshock wave therapy, implants, and surgery. Men with Peyronie’s disease should discuss all treatment options with their physician.
Pietsch G et al. Superficial radiation therapy in peyronie’s disease: an effective and well-tolerated therapy. Advances in Radiation Oncology 2018 Aug 7; 3(4): 548-51