ED Drugs may one day help fight cancer.


According to recent studies, some scientists believe that some medications that treat erectile dysfunction (ED) might eventually help fight cancer.


Scientists believe that drugs like sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra) might benefit the immune system. They recommended that the drugs be studied further.

Medications used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) might eventually have another purpose – fighting cancer.

After reviewing medical research, scientists believe that the drugs sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), and tadalafil (Cialis) should be studied further in clinical trials related to cancer.

In an April 2018 study published by ecancermedicalscience, the researchers reported that ED drugs may have cancer-fighting properties that could help the immune system. They might also be able to strengthen other cancer treatments if given at the same time.

The drugs are classified as phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors. The researchers suggested that these medications could be helpful for patients with pancreatic cancer, melanoma (a form of skin cancer), and glioblastoma (cancer that affects the brain or spinal cord).

The research was conducted as part of the Repurposing Drugs in Oncology (ReDO) project, which investigates ways that commonly available drugs might be used to fight cancer. Using such medications could eventually make cancer treatment less expensive. In addition, repurposed drugs could have fewer, or less severe, side effects than other cancer drugs.

“In many respects sildenafil is the ultimate repurposing success story,” said study co-author Dr. Pan Pantziarka in a press statement. “It was originally developed for angina, repurposed for erectile dysfunction and then again for pulmonary arterial hypertension, and now it has the potential to be repurposed again as an anti-cancer drug.”



Pantziarka, Pan, et al.

“Repurposing drugs in oncology (ReDO)—selective PDE5 inhibitors as anti-cancer agents”

(Full-text. Published: April 11, 2018)



“Viagra has the potential to be used as a treatment for rare cancers”

(Press release. April 11, 2018)


“Why Does Viagra Have the Potential to Treat Rare Cancers?”

(Infographic. April 11, 2018)




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