A laugh, a sneeze, or a cough is all it takes to trigger an embarrassing problem. Carolyn Upton first noticed she was having trouble controlling her bladder in her mid-forties. The exercise enthusiast had stress urinary incontinence.
She was one of 64 women picked for a first of its kind study at Beaumont Hospital. Dr. Kenneth Peters is the Chief of urology, at Beaumont Hospital in Michigan. He leads the research team that's testing a non-surgical procedure to help and possibly cure stress urinary incontinence.
At their doctor's office, patients underwent a leg biopsy to take a little piece of muscle. Cells from that muscle were isolated and then , over several weeks the cells were grown in the lab and separated into doses of ten million, 50 million, 100 million or 200 million cells.
The cells were re-injected and helped regenerate muscles that control the bladder. Dr. Peters says within six months, the majority of patients had at least 50% reduction in their incontinence and depending on the dose, 20-50% of patients become completely dry.
According to Dr. Peters, it appears the higher the dose the better the outcomes. Carolyn says her problem is about 80% better since the procedure. Now she's decided to run a marathon.
The urologist says if incontinence is improved after one treatment but not gone, the cells could possibly be stored and re-injected into patients. He says future trials to test the non-invasive procedure are in the works and could happen within the next year.