Viagra used in new Prostate Cancer Drug Therapy

Viagra used in new Prostate Cancer Drug Therapy

Viagra used in new Prostate Cancer Drug Therapy
Viagra, known as a cure for ED, has been found to serve another important purpose.

Now it’s giving a boost to the fight against prostate cancer, the second most common type men acquire after melanoma. The famous ED drug is being combined with doxorubicin—a well-known chemotherapy medication. Together they are more effective in fighting prostate cancer, a new study suggests, while also protecting the health of the patient. Researchers at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine conducted the study.

Viagra makes doxorubicin more effective and less dangerous to the patient. These studies were done on laboratory mice. More studies including human trials will have to be conducted before this treatment is approved by the FDA. Doxorubicin has been used to fight cancer for forty years. Unfortunately, left unmitigated, it causes irreversible heart damage. Generally this damage appears years after the treatment is complete. For a decade and a half, researchers have been searching for something to protect the heart against such damage. Now they believe they have found it with Viagra.

Combining these two drugs ramps up the production of reactive oxygen species—molecules that destroy prostate cancer cells while leaving normal cells, unharmed. Sildenafil, the medical name for Viagra, also increased the levels of nitric oxide within the heart. This is the compound which when released causes blood vessels to smooth out, allowing more blood flow. Here, it dilates the heart’s blood vessels, safeguarding this most precious of organs. Not only does Viagra help target cancer cells but it protects the heart in the short and long-term as well. The research team believes that once past human trials, this drug combination will be adopted into normal cancer treatment protocols. The team will soon conduct clinical trials. The National, Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health funded this study, which was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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