Recovering sexual function after prostate cancer surgery
Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed men’s cancer with over 1.3 million cases worldwide and over 18000 cases per year in Australia. One in six Australian men will be diagnosed in their lifetime. Of these men diagnosed with prostate cancer, 69% will opt for treatment with radical prostatectomy surgery giving high survival rates of 96% over five years, but the question is, are these men living well?
Often overlooked, is that during surgery the nerves responsible for erectile function are damaged, and as a result, up to 94% of these men will experience some degree of erectile dysfunction accompanied by significant quality of life issues.
Researchers at NICM Health Research Institute are currently recruiting participants for a study investigating if electroacupuncture is a feasible rehabilitation model for erectile dysfunction after robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy.
Previous electrical stimulation studies to peripheral nerves have shown that electrical stimulation may improve recovery of nerve function by encouraging the right conditions for the nerve to regenerate and therefore could be useful for recovering function of erectile nerves.
Who can join?
- Men aged over 18 years, who:
- Have had a nerve sparing robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy surgery in the last 24-months.
- Have erectile dysfunction as a result of robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy surgery.
- Read the participant information sheet and provide consent.
- Complete an initial assessment and provide information about their cancer treatment history, quality of life and erectile function.
- After assessment be randomly allocated to electroacupuncture or standard treatment groups and asked to complete short questionnaires at specific time periods throughout the study.
- Participants allocated to electroacupuncture treatment will attend 10 electroacupuncture sessions (50-minutes each) over eight-weeks at one of our trial sites:
- Participants allocated to the standard treatment group will be able to complete the study remotely and will be offered access to the intervention at no charge after the completion of the trial if it is shown to have benefit.
What are the benefits of participating?
- Participants may experience improvements to erectile dysfunction.
- Participants can participate in this trial whilst continuing standard rehabilitation routine.
- Participants will be helping to advance medical research, which could assist in the development of effective treatments for prostate cancer patients.
Interested in participating in this study?
For more details about the study, please read the following information before deciding whether to participate.
- Participant Information Sheet and Consent Form (PDF, 820.73 KB) (opens in a new window)
- Study Flyer (PDF, 538.38 KB) (opens in a new window)
To check your eligibility to participate in this study, please complete the online screening survey below.
A member from our research team will be in touch with you within 2-3 business days, or for more information, please contact:
NICM Health Research Institute, Study Chief Investigator - PhD Candidate
p. 0421 021 124
Human Research Ethics Committee Approval: This trial has been approved by Western Sydney University Human Ethics Committee (Approval Number: H14239 ), the Sydney Adventist HealthCare Limited Ethics Committee, Human Research Ethics Committee (Approval Number: 2020-040) and St Vincent’s Hospital Human Research Ethics Committee (2021/ETH00033).
This study is supported by the NICM Health Research Institute and Blackmores Institute Scholarship Program and Sydney Adventist HealthCare.
Study Coordinating Principal Investigator: Dr Suzanne Grant, NICM Health Research Institute.