News / Health

Viagra Improves Effectiveness of Cancer Drug

Impotence medicine also reduces serious side effect

Multimedia

Audio
Art Chimes

Viagra Improves Effectiveness of Cancer Drug
Viagra Improves Effectiveness of Cancer Drug

Doctors often use drugs in combination. Sometimes one medicine will enhance the effectiveness of another. Or a drug will have side effects that are eased by a different medicine. Now, researchers have found one drug that does both, and the name of the medicine may surprise you.

This story starts with a powerful anti-cancer drug called doxorubicin. It's effective, but it has a lot of serious side effects, including damage to the heart.

Researchers were looking for a way to ease those cardiac symptoms. Using laboratory mice, they tried out a drug originally developed to treat angina - chest pain - but which turned out to be a hugely successful drug for quite a different problem.

"We are using Viagra, which has been utilized by a vast number of patients for the last 12 years for treatment of erectile dysfunction with virtually no evidence of life-threatening side effects," said Rakesh Kukreja of Virginia Commonwealth University, an author of a paper describing the research.

Viagra [sildenafil], it turns out, did a good job of easing the heart-related side-effects of the cancer treatment. But the researchers were worried it might also reduce the tumor-fighting properties of doxorubicin. However, in their study, Kukreja says it actually increased the effectiveness of the cancer drug.

"That was a huge surprise. We thought that, in order for this drug to be used for protecting the heart, we needed to rule out that it did not interfere with the efficacy of doxorubicin for treatment of cancer. So we found the opposite results, where we saw, actually, enhanced anti-tumor effect of doxorubicin in prostate cancer."

And in a couple of other cancers, too.

Kukreja says the next step will be human trials, to see how the doxorubicin-Viagra combination works in actual patients.

A paper describing the research is published online by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid