Similar to most oncology data, future studies are needed to evaluate the effects of sildenafil and other PDE5 inhibitors on different forms of cancer within human patients — not just in animal and cell line models. There are multiple clinical trials currently enrolling patients to evaluate the effects of sildenafil on a multitude of cancers including pancreatic, brain, myelodysplastic syndrome, multiple myeloma, head and neck, and other solid tumors.2 There are also studies evaluating the effect of PDE5 inhibitors in modulating the toxicity of certain chemotherapeutic agents such as doxorubicin, which is another unique application for this class of medications.
- Viagra ® [package insert]. New York, NY: Pfizer Labs; 2014.
- Pantziarka P, Sukhatme V, Crispino V, et al. Repurposing drugs in oncology (ReDO)—selective PDE5 inhibitors as anti-cancer agents. Ecancermedicalscience. 2018;12:824. doi: 10.3332/ecancer.2018.824
- Kouvelas D, Goulas A, Papazisis G, et al. PDE5 inhibitors: in vitro and in vivo pharmacological profile. Curr Pharm Des. 2009;15(30) 3464-3475.
- Sharman SK, Islam BN, Hou Y, et al. Cyclic-GMP–elevating agents suppress polyposis in ApcMin mice by targeting the preneoplastic epithelium. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2018;11(2):81-92.
- Treon SP, Tournilhac O, Branagan AR, et al. Clinical responses to sildenafil in Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia. Clin Lymphoma. 2004;5(3):205–207.
- Patterson CJ, Soumerai J, Hunter Z, et al. Sildenafil citrate suppresses disease progression in patients with Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia. J Clin Oncol. 2006;24(18 suppl):7556.
- Li W-Q, Qureshi AA, Robinson KC, et al. Sildenafil use and increased risk of incident melanoma in US men: a prospective cohort study. JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(6):964-970.
- Arozarena I, Sanchez-Laorden B, Packer L, et al. Oncogenic BRAF induces melanoma cell invasion by downregulating the cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase PDE5A. Cancer Cell. 2011;19(1):45-57.
- Jamnagerwalla J, Howard LE, Vidal AC, et al. The association between phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors and prostate cancer: Results from the REDUCE study. J Urol. 2016;196(3):715-720.