Small, daily dose of Viagra may reduce colorectal cancer risk


A team of scientists from Augusta University (GA, USA) have demonstrated that a small, daily dose of Viagra (sildenafil) significantly reduces colorectal cancer risk in an animal model that is genetically predetermined to have the disease. The findings were recently published in Cancer Prevention Research.

In this study, sildenafil was administered via the animal’s drinking water. The researchers demonstrated that sildenafil reduced the formation of polyps in a mouse model by half.

The team demonstrated that sildenafil increases the levels of the chemical cyclic GMP, which is known to affect the intestinal epithelium. Existing polyps were not affected, more evidence that targeting cyclic GMP signaling appears to be a good prevention strategy in high-risk patients.

“Giving a baby dose of Viagra can reduce the amount of tumors in these animals by half,” corresponding author Darren D. Browning stated.

While the details of the mechanism remain unclear, Browning and his team have observed that the results of increased cyclic GMP include suppression of some of the excessive cell proliferation that occurs in the gut and an increase in normal cell differentiation as well as the natural elimination of abnormal cells, through apoptosis.

The authors state that next steps should include a clinical trial for the drug in patients considered at high risk of colorectal cancer; such as those with a strong family history, multiple previous polyps and chronic intestinal inflammation like colitis.

Source: www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/mcog-asd031618.php