Potency-enhancing drugs linked to decreased risks in men with colorectal cancer

August 17, 2020

A new study from Lund University and Region Skåne in Sweden indicates that potency-enhancing PDE5 inhibitor drugs have an anti-cancer potential with the ability to improve the prognosis in patients with colorectal cancer. PDE5 inhibitors include a few approved drugs in which sildenafil (Viagra) is the most well-known. The article is published in Nature Communications.

"Available preclinical evidence suggests that PDE5 inhibitors could slow down the tumor growth and progression in mice, but it is still unknown whether PDE5 inhibitors can hinder the proliferation of cancer in humans. We tried to explore this using real-world medical data in Sweden", says Wuqing Huang, a PhD student at Lund University and one of the researchers behind the study.

By linking several nationwide registers, Wuqing Huang identified all Swedish male patients with colorectal cancer who had used PDE5 inhibitors after their cancer diagnosis (1 136 patients). During the follow-up period, around 10.2% of patients had died from colorectal cancer among those who used PDE5 inhibitors after diagnosis, whereas the probability was 17.5% in patients who did not use PDE5 inhibitors (11 329). After consideration of a range of clinical confounding factors, the relative risk of death caused by colorectal cancer was 18% lower among patients who used the drugs. The risk of metastases, especially distant metastases which is the main cause of death due to cancer, was also lower among patients who used PDE5 inhibitors.

"In addition, the protective effect was even stronger in men who used these drugs after receiving open surgery. This finding provides the first-ever human-based evidence in terms of the anti-tumor effect of PDE5 inhibitors on colorectal cancer, which complements the preclinical evidence.", says Wuqing Huang.

One of the mechanisms that has been suggested to be a critical process that leads to adverse outcomes among patients with cancer post-surgery, is surgery-induced immune suppression.

"The results of our study suggest that the anti-cancer ability of PDE5 inhibitors might be related to regulating immunosuppressive effects. However, randomized clinical trials are needed to confirm our research findings before PDE5 inhibitors can be used as an adjuvant drug for men with colorectal cancer, as well as experiments that explore the underlying biological mechanisms", says Wuqing Huang.

"The observed findings should be interpreted with caution as this is an observational study and the biological mechanisms need to be explored further. We have already collaborated with other scientists to explore the underlying mechanisms by utilizing animal experiments and cancer organoid", comments Jianguang Ji, a researcher at Lund University involved in the study.
-end-


Lund University

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.