Cancer: Viagra could boost the effects of chemotherapy according to a study

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Esophageal cancer is found anywhere in the esophagus, causing difficulty swallowing and indigestion. Although it is treatable, it can be difficult to reverse due to its fast-spreading nature. However, scientists have recently discovered that the use of drugs used in viagra could make chemotherapy more effective in cancer patients.

The latest research suggests that a group of drugs called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors, such as Viagra, may potentially improve the response of esophageal cancer patients to chemotherapy.

It appears that the drug is able to cross a barrier of cells that surround tumors and prevent drugs from reaching them.

Esophageal cancer, which develops in the food pipe that connects the mouth to the stomach, does not respond to treatment in about 80% of cases.

The UK has one of the highest rates of the disease, with 9,300 new cases of the disease diagnosed each year.

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In the later stage IV, esophageal cancer has spread to distant lymph nodes or other distant organs, making them difficult to remove completely.

Prof Underwood, who is also a professor of gastrointestinal surgery at the University of Southampton, said: “The chemo-resistant properties of tumors of the esophagus mean that many patients undergo intensive chemotherapy which will not work. for them.”

The researchers tested the treatment on mice with chemotherapy-resistant esophageal tumors and found no adverse effects.

When combined with PDE5, they found that chemotherapy shrunk the tumor more than chemotherapy when it worked alone.

“Finding a drug, which is already unfortunately prescribed to people every day, could be a big step forward in the fight against this difficult to treat disease,” Professor Underwood added.

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The study departed from the understanding that PDE5s are tumor microenvironment cells, which protect the tumor from treatment.

PDE5s are found in particularly high numbers in esophageal cancers compared to other healthy esophageal tissues.

Michelle Mitchell, Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK, said: “Developing new cancer drugs is hugely important, but doing it from scratch is a difficult process, and many fail along the way.

“We were also keen to explore whether existing drugs, approved for other diseases, can be effective in treating cancer.

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“If these treatments prove to be effective treatments, they will also prove to be more affordable and available to patients more quickly.”

She added: “Advances in the treatment of esophageal cancer over the past 40 years have seen only limited improvements, which is why we have made it a research priority.

“We look forward to seeing how the combination treatment of PDE5 inhibitors with chemotherapy performs in clinical trials.”

The researchers say that the drug’s proven safety and the positive results of the latest study underscore the need for further clinical trials.

Previous studies, however, have raised questions after finding a higher cancer risk in men who take Viagra.

In fact, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that men who used Viagra were 84% more likely to develop melanoma.

Although the study did not show that Viagra caused skin cancer, it did show that in a large group of men, those who said they used Viagra ended up being diagnosed with melanoma more often.

These provocative findings warrant further exploration to determine whether or not this relationship is coincidental.

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