Study says blue pill could beat some cancers and make chemotherapy more effective

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Viagra, the blue pill that was first discovered and patented as an erectile dysfunction drug by Pfizer, may now be a treatment for esophageal cancer.

You’ll find it quite amusing that Viagra now has another use that will help establish its identity beyond that as a drug to treat erectile dysfunction or lackluster sexual arousal.

At the turn of the last century and millennium, Viagra became the official prescription drug for erectile dysfunction – immediately recognizing erectile dysfunction as a medical condition – a status it had been denied until that time. The curious and lucky part of Viagra’s discovery was that the drug’s active ingredient, sildenafil, was being developed and tested for cardiovascular issues – which it failed in clinical trials. Luckily, just as major pharmaceutical company Pfizer was considering abandoning the project, a nurse supervising the clinical trial noticed that two of the male participants were bothered about having erections. The trial was on a drug for heart disease and instead dilated blood vessels in the penis. Salute to Viagra, the star of the pharmaceutical industry was born.

Viagra seems like a gift that keeps on giving – despite its many pros and cons. Now scientists have recently discovered that using drugs used in viagra could make chemotherapy more effective in cancer patients, reports Express.co.uk.

Viagra as a medicine to treat cancers of the digestive tract and throat:

Esophageal cancer causes 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.

In the latest discovery – we learn that a group of drugs called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors, such as Viagra – are able to cross a barrier of cells that surround tumors and prevent drugs from reaching them.

Professor Underwood, who is also a professor of gastrointestinal surgery at the University of Southampton, told Express.co.uk: “The chemo-resistant properties of tumors of the esophagus mean that many patients experience a intensive chemotherapy that won’t work for them.”

No side effects, even shrinks tumors:

The results seem encouraging and without fear of unwanted side effects. The method and treatment protocol have been applied to mice with chemotherapy-resistant esophageal tumors and found to be effective. In fact, 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.

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

Michelle Mitchell, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, is excited that Viagra is an existing drug with known characteristics – this discovery saves the pharmaceutical research industry the pain of launching cancer research from zero with no guarantee of success.

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

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

Disclaimer: The tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or dietitian before starting any fitness program or making any changes to your diet.

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