Regenerative medicine as a new therapeutic strategy for lower urinary tract dysfunction

Authors


Correspondence: Hiromitsu Mimata M.D., Ph.D., Department of Urology, Oita University Faculty of Medicine, Idaigaoka 1-1, Hasama-cho, Yufu-city, Oita 879-5593, Japan. Email: mimata@oita-u.ac.jp

Abstract

The use of regenerative medicine for the treatment of organic and functional disorders intractable to conventional treatment has increased worldwide. This innovative medical field might particularly hold promise for the treatment of life-threatening diseases or healing of irreplaceable organs, such as the heart, liver and brain. Dysfunction of the urogenital tract and associated organs other than the kidney might not have immediate life-threatening implications; furthermore, the effectiveness of alternative therapy, such as enterocystoplasty for bladder cancer, has been shown. Therefore, most physicians or scientists do not give much importance to these disorders. However, urological disease has increased in developed societies in recent years. Furthermore, medical costs have also escalated. Disorders of the lower urinary tract, such as urinary disturbance or incontinence, can lead to other complications, impairing quality of life and ultimately increasing short- and long-term medical expenses. Regenerative medicine might hold potential solutions to these problems. Recent advances in urogenital regenerative medicine are reviewed in the present article, with particular reference to lower urinary tract reconstruction. The potential of regenerative medicine for the treatment of intractable lower urinary tract dysfunction compared with conventional treatment is also discussed.

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