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Viagra could help fight cancer

Washington: Viagra may have the potential to fight cancer, according to a new study.

The clinical research of Ecancermedicalscience found that the class of drugs currently prescribed to treat male erectile dysfunction can be included in the new trials for anti-cancer drugs.

Researchers identified that selective phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitors have the potential to be used in new drug trials. These PDE5 inhibitors are a class of medications that include medications most commonly known by their brand names: Viagra, Cialis and Levitra.

"In many aspects, sildenafil is the success story of definitive reuse," said researcher Pan Pantziarka. "It was originally developed for angina pectoris, reused for erectile dysfunction and then again for pulmonary arterial hypertension, and now has the potential to be reused again as a cancer medication."

PDE5 inhibitors showed a wide range of mechanisms of action in different types of cancer, such as glioblastoma multiforme, a rare disease where clinically significant advances are desperately needed.

"Control point inhibitors have radically altered the landscape in oncology, but significant challenges remain in terms of increasing the number and duration of responses," Pantziarka explained.

"Emerging evidence suggests that PDE5 inhibitors may be a mechanism to achieve this."

The paper also explored the problem of finding new agents that can cross the blood-brain barrier. a challenge that severely limits the range of medications available to treat brain tumors.

There is some evidence that medications are not currently authorized for cancer treatment such as PDE5 inhibitors, they can increase patency to improve the supply of medications to brain tumors, which could open the door to new therapeutic options for the patients

These low cost and low toxicity drugs show potential to be included with the current and emerging treatments of the standard of care in oncology.

The study appears in the open access journal Ecancermedicalscience.


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