They took a pig intestine graft and seeded it with adult stem cells that came from fat tissue in rats. Their test subjects, rats do not develop Peyronie's disease, so they made incisions to induce scarring in the rodent penises. Patients with severe and stable Peyronie's disease have to undergo scar tissue excision and graft surgery, which is what they performed on the rats.
Researchers examined the rats penises, eight weeks after the surgery. The rats with the stem cell grafts had less scarring and better erectile responses than those with graft only group. Their penis rigidity, blood flow and response time were comparable to the control group that had not received any surgery or alteration.
The next step for Dr. Hellstrom and his research group is to test the method on primates and eventually with people. "Peyronie's affects 3% to 9% of adult males and causes a lot of psychological distress. If we can improve what we have now, it seems like the logical thing to do."