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Published on 29 September 2010

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Viagra success in cancer lab tests

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Researchers in the US are to carry out clinical trials on humans to find out if anti-impotence pill Viagra can help fight prostate cancer when used in combination with a chemotherapy drug.

A Virginia Commonwealth University report claimed that lab tests on cells and mice had shown that a combination of Viagra (sildenafil) and Doxorubicin reduced the size of tumours and protected the heart at the same time.

Chemotherapy drug doxorubicin triggers cancer cells to commit suicide but its use has also been linked with irreversible heart damage, which occurs in the years after the treatment ceases.

The study, published online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, said Viagra prevented any damage to the heart, did not incur damage to healthy prostate cells and boosted doxorubicin’s anti-tumour qualities when the two pills were used in combination.

Professor Rakesh Kukreja, of the research team, said: “We believe sildenafil could be an excellent candidate for incorporation into cancer treatment protocols with the potential of enhancing the anti-tumour efficacy, while protecting the heart.”

Copyright Press Association 2010



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