Friday, February 29, 2008

Vitamin E: not harmless

Vitamin E is commonly prescribed for Peyronies Disease, even though it has been shown to have NO benefit and even though several studies have suggested that high dose Vitamin E is mildly toxic.

Today another study suggested Vitamin E may slghtly increase lung cancer diagnoses:
Vitamin E Supplements May Raise Lung Cancer Risk -

Our study of supplemental multivitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E and folate did not show any evidence for a decreased risk of lung cancer,' study author Dr. Christopher G. Slatore, a fellow in the division of pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Washington, said in a statement...

... Every increase in vitamin E of 100 milligrams per day was associated with a 7 percent rise in lung cancer risk -- translating into a 28 percent increase in risk over 10 years for someone taking 400 milligrams of vitamin E daily....
A 28% increase in lung cancer risk still isn't in the range of second-hand smoke, but it's significant.

Vitamin E is worthless as a Peyronies treatment. It's probably not harmless in large doses.

Urologists should not prescribe it.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Device corporation launches "social networking" site for Peyronie's Disease -- and their "biodesign repair graft".

Cook Medical is a part of the Cook Group, an oddly diverse multinational (emphases mine):

Since 1963, Cook Group companies have been among the leaders in developing healthcare devices that have improved lives around the world. COOK remains at the forefront of medical research and worldwide sales of products for endovascular therapy, critical care medicine, general surgery, diagnostic and interventional procedures, bioengineered tissue replacement and regeneration, gastroenterology and endoscopy procedures, urology, and obstetrics and gynecology.

Our COOK corporate family also includes companies that manufacture specialized industrial parts and offer commercial services in the travel, real-estate development and management, and retail fields.

COOK is a global company with a global focus - and a global future.

Real estate services and endovascular devices? Now that's weird. I suspect they're privately held, which probably explains their idiosyncratic portfolio.

The medical device company, among other things, sells the Surgisis Biodesign Peyronie's Repair Graft

... The Surgisis Biodesign Peyronie's Repair Graft can help restore a patient's lifestyle and confidence. Surgisis Biodesign provides strength and flexibility for reinforcement and correction of penile curvature. The graft signals the body's surrounding cells to grow across the scaffold, remodeling into functional tissue. Surgisis Biodesign is easy to hydrate and suture, minimizes scar tissue formation, and is resistant to infection....

The Surgisis line appeared on "The History Channel" a few months ago, which leads to some cynical speculation on how that channel is funded. I couldn't find any medical articles referencing this product, a search had one hit.

Which brings me to Peyronie's - Getting Information and Help. This is billed by Cook Medical as a "social networking site" (from an email I was sent):

... Cook Medical is launching, and leveraging social networking capabilities to create a safe and interactive destination for physicians, patients and their partners to learn about symptoms and treatments, discuss and share thoughts and opinions and have access to the latest information around Peyronie’s disease.  Physicians can also engage in a secure, physicians-only Q&A forum to foster knowledge exchange...

Unsurprisingly their therapy reference includes this blurb:

... Plaque Incision or Excision and Grafting: This procedure removes tissue on the inside of the curve and replaces it with a graft to allow the penis to straighten. The graft can either be tissue from the patient or a biological "off-the-shelf" material such as Cook Medical's Surgisis® Biodesign™ Peyronie's Repair Graft or a cadaveric pericardial graft...


Ok, so it's a time honored practice in the pharma industry to create "patient friendly" web sites which, oddly enough, slip in some marketing on the side. Even so, this one feels a bit a bit edgy to me. There are NO references to any published research about their "Surgisis Biodesign" graft material, and it's obviously the entire reason the site exists.

If you do visit this site, please remember why it exists.