viagra cancer feat
viagra cancer feat

Viagra Could Be the Latest Weapon in the War Against Cancer

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If you have been around for any amount of time, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the drug Viagra. It’s the little blue pill doctors prescribe to help treat erectile dysfunction. But what if this same drug (and others like it) also could be used to treat cancer? Well, according to a newly released paper appearing in ecancermedicalscience, this might be a real possibility.

Researchers have identified that selective phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitors (also known as checkpoint inhibitors) may have the potential for use in new, anti-cancer drug trials. PDE5 inhibitors are a class of drugs that include sildenafil, tadalafil and vardenafil. In the marketplace, you may have heard of them as Viagra, Levitra and Cialis. These drugs have demonstrated a wide range use in different cancer types, such as glioblastoma multiforme — a serious, rare disease where meaningful treatments are badly needed.

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Dr. Pan Pantziarka of the Anticancer fund and co-author of the paper shared the following in a press release: “In many respects sildenafil is the ultimate repurposing success story. It was originally developed for angina, repurposed for erectile dysfunction and then again for pulmonary arterial hypertension, and now it has the potential to be repurposed again as an anti-cancer drug.”

He goes on to share, “Checkpoint inhibitors have radically altered the landscape in oncology, but there remain significant challenges in terms of increasing the number and duration of responses.”

The paper includes a large swath of pre-clinical and clinical data designed to make the case that PDE5’s should be considered as candidates for repurposing as anti-cancer drugs.

The investigators hope their paper will help shine a light on how these types of drugs can be used in future clinical trials. Currently, there are several small, early-phase trials taking place. But the researchers believe the time has come for expansion. Should the PDE5’s prove to be safe and effective, cheaper treatment options may be available for people living with certain types of cancers.

What do you think about the possibility of a Viagra cancer cure? Let us know in the comments!