Researchers Surprised By Their Finding As Earlier Medical Studies Suggested Anticancer Effect In Prostate
Findings about increased cancer risks being associated with the use of erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs such as Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra are not new, as those relatively popular drugs and others had been associated with melanoma. For more about that drug side effect see our Viagra / Cialis / Levitra / Staxyn / Stendra / Revatio / Adcirca drug information page.
The February 2015 edition of The Journal of Urology includes this article, "Use of Phosphodiesterase Type 5 Inhibitors May Adversely Impact Biochemical Recurrence after Radical Prostatectomy", which was published online back in September 2014.
From the Abstract for this recent medical journal article about Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra:
Experimental evidence suggests that phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors may suppress tumor growth, postpone metastasis and prolong survival, but clinical data are lacking. We studied the effect of phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors on biochemical recurrence after radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer.
Contrary to experimental data, the use of phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors after radical prostatectomy may adversely impact biochemical recurrence. Further studies are needed to validate our results.
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For some contextual information we get the following from a January 27, 2015 Medscape Medical News article, "Docs 'Astonished': ED Drugs Tied to Prostate Cancer Return":
The study is the first of its kind. No other research has looked at the use of these drugs after prostate cancer surgery and their impact on biochemical recurrence.
However, a previous observational study showed that the use of PDE5 inhibitors in men with ED (and no history of prostate cancer) was associated with a decreased incidence in the rate of prostate cancer (Asian J Androl. 2013;15:246-248). The investigators from Scott & White Healthcare in Temple, Texas, explain that men treated with PDE5 inhibitors might ejaculate more often than untreated men, which has been demonstrated to have a protective effect against prostate cancer (JAMA. 2004;291:1578-1586).
There have also been multiple reports from labs that these drugs might thwart cancer prostate cancer growth and postpone metastasis.
In fact, lab evidence on ED drugs in prostate and other cancers has prompted some investigators to call for the "repurposing" of PDE5 inhibitors for adjuvant chemotherapy (Front Pharmacol. 2013;4:82).
As the researchers cautioned in their medical journal article, the association between Viagra / Cialis / Levitra and prostate cancer recurrence after radical prostatectomy needs to be studied further.
Be assured that we will be watching for further developments concerning this possible new side effect of erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs.