- WASHINGTON - Because of recent
breakthroughs in genetic research it may be possible within 25 years to
artificially grow penises and vaginas that can be implanted as functioning
organs in humans, the Impotence World Association said on Friday.
- With more than 80 million men and women in the United
States suffering from some form of impotence, doctors say sexual healing,
especially for women, is just around the corner with new developments in
genetic research and Viagra-like drugs.
- Dr. Myron Murdock, national director of the impotence
group, said in the near-future scientists will be able to construct male
or female genitalia from human cells by culturing and growing them over
an appropriately shaped lattice or mold. In the process of these cells
growing, differentiation into the various layers of the vagina and penis
- "As unbelievable as this may be, the process of
tissue engineering, and the ex vivo (outside the body) production of functioning
human organs such as the penis and vagina are being done today in the laboratory,''
- Male and female genital organs which are missing, nonfunctional,
or inadequate may be replaced by the artificially grown organs which would
be "surgically implanted to produce a functioning, erogenous sexual
organ,'' he said.
- New "miracle drugs'' for impotence will also soon
be available for men and women, Murdock said.
- In 1998, Viagra became the first FDA-approved oral drug
treatment for male erectile dysfunction.
- Since then a barrage of new drugs and treatments have
sought U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval including TAP Pharmaceutical's
apomorphine drug called Uprima, which stimulates pelvic congestion "
erection in men and arousal in women.
- Also in development are new and more specific versions
of Viagra " known to scientists as type-5 phosphodiesterase inhibitors.
They will cause fewer side effects such as facial flushing, headaches,
indigestion and vision disturbances, Murdock said.
- "Some of these newer, more specific Viagra-like
drugs will work faster, and may last up to 24 hours, making sexual relations
more spontaneous,'' said Murdock, a urologist and clinician and surgeon.
- In the next few years, sexual dysfunction treatments
specifically for women, who suffer in greater numbers then men, will be
widely available, Murdock adds.
- For example, Viagra could be licensed for use by women
in three to four years, its manufacturer Pfizer Inc. said in October. "(Viagra)
may be the start of providing medication for women,'' Murdock said.