ecancermedicalscience

Clinical Study

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

11 Apr 2018
Pan Pantziarka, Vidula Sukhatme, Sergio Crispino, Gauthier Bouche, Lydie Meheus, Vikas P Sukhatme

Selective phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors, including sildenafil, tadalafil and vardenafil, are widely-used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction and pulmonary arterial hypertension. They are also well-known as examples of successful drug repurposing in that they were initially developed for angina and only later developed for erectile dysfunction. However, these drugs may also be effective cancer treatments. A range of evidentiary sources are assessed in this paper and the case made that there is pre-clinical and clinical evidence that these drugs may offer clinical benefit in a range of cancers. In particular, evidence is presented that these drugs have potent immunomodulatory activity that warrants clinical study in combination with check-point inhibition.

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