Viagra may help to fight cancer: New study

Representational Image
Representational Image

New Delhi : While medical experts are trying hard to find treatment to cure cancer, a new study reveals that Viagra may help to fight cancer. The clinical research by experts in Ecancermedicalscience found that the class of drugs prescribed to treat male erectile dysfunction can be incorporated in the new experiment for anti-cancer drugs.

Viagra is a medication used to treat erectile dysfunction and pulmonary arterial hypertension.

The researchers at Ecancermedicalscience identified that selective phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitors have the potential to be used in new drug trials. These PDE5 inhibitors are a class of drugs that include drugs more commonly known by their brand names - Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra.

"In many respects sildenafil is the ultimate repurposing success story," said researcher Pan Pantziarka. "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."

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

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

"Emerging evidence suggests that PDE5 inhibitors may be one mechanism for achieving this."

The research also studied the issue that finding new agents that are able to cross the blood-brain-barrier is a challenge, which severely limits the range of drugs available to treat brain tumours.

However, there are evidences that drugs not currently licensed for cancer treatment like the PDE5 inhibitors, are able to increase permeability so that drug delivery to brain tumours is improved - thereby potentially opening the door to new therapeutic options for patients.

These low-cost, low-toxicity drugs might suit the current and emerging standard of treatments in oncology. The study has been published in the open access journal Ecancermedicalscience.

 

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