Major step forwards in tackling cancer as Viagra found to help 'cure' disease | The Sun

VIAGRA could help to cure cancer, scientists say.

Cancer Research UK found blokes’ bedroom boosters – like the little blue pill – can make chemotherapy more effective against throat cancer.

They shut down enzymes that form protective shields around cancer cells, making it easier for the chemo drugs to blast tumours. 

Tests in labs and on mice suggest combining the drugs will work in human patients and for other cancers as well.

Both men and women could benefit, scientists added – and the pills should not cause any unwanted excitement.

Study author Professor Tim Underwood, from the University of Southampton, said: “Finding a drug which is already safely prescribed to people every day could be a great step forward in tackling this hard-to-treat disease.”

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Experts tested the drugs, called PDE5 inhibitors, in combination with chemotherapy on oesophageal cancer cells.

Around 9,300 cases of oesophageal cancer, which starts in the throat, are diagnosed every year in the UK and nine out of 10 patients die within a decade.

Tests found high levels of PDE5 enzymes around the tumours, suggesting that they help them to grow.

Erectile dysfunction drugs squashed levels of the enzymes, opening up the cancer cells to killer chemotherapy and boosting its effectiveness.

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Tumours in mice shrunk more when tackled with the combo than with chemo on its own, boffins revealed in the journal Cell Reports Medicine.

The NHS already dishes out huge numbers of erectile dysfunction pills, with 4.3million prescriptions in England last year costing an average of just £4 a pack.

Michelle Mitchell, CEO at Cancer Research UK, said: “Progress in treatment for oesophageal cancer has seen only limited improvement over the last 40 years, which is why we’ve made it a research priority.

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“We’re looking forward to seeing how the combined treatment of PDE5 inhibitors with chemotherapy performs in clinical trials.

“If existing drugs for other diseases turn out to be successful treatments, they will prove to be more affordable and become available to patients quicker than new cancer drugs.”

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