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Small Dose Of Viagra Daily May Cut Bowel Cancer Risk: Study

 Agencies |  2018-03-19 16:51:22.0  0  Comments

Small Dose Of Viagra Daily May Cut Bowel Cancer Risk: Study

Washington: A small, daily dose of popular erectile dysfunction drug Viagra may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, according to a study conducted in mice.

Viagra cut in half the formation of polyps, an abnormal and often asymptomatic clump of cells on the lining of the intestines that may become cancer, said Darren D Browning, a researcher at Augusta University in the US.
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, according to the study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.
Viagra has been used safely for years in a wide range of doses and age groups, from premature infants with pulmonary hypertension to the elderly with erectile dysfunction, Browning said.
When placed in the drinking water, Browning's team found that Viagra reduced polyps in a mouse model with a genetic mutation that occurs in humans, causing them to produce hundreds of polyps starting as teenagers and essentially always resulting in colorectal cancer.
"Giving a baby dose of Viagra can reduce the number of tumours in these animals by half," Browning said.
Viagra is best known for its ability to relax the smooth muscle cells around blood vessels so the vessels can more easily fill with blood, which is how it helps both erectile dysfunction and pulmonary hypertension.
However, Browning's lab is showing it also increases levels of the chemical cyclic GMP, which is known to affect the intestinal lining, called the epithelium.
According to Browning, 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 a process called apoptosis.
"When we give Viagra, we shrink the whole proliferating compartment," said Browning, in an area of our body that directly deals with whatever we put in our mouths and normally experiences high cell turnover.
"Proliferating cells are more subject to mutations that cause cancer," he said.
Existing polyps were not affected, more evidence that targeting cyclic GMP signalling appears to be a good prevention strategy in high-risk patients, he said.

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