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  1. Viagra could help cure cancer: Study

Viagra could help cure cancer: Study

Anti-impotence drug Viagra may help treat certain cancers and neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, a new study claims.

By: | New York | Published: March 10, 2015 5:21 PM
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Anti-impotence drug Viagra may help treat certain cancers and neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, a new study claims. Reuters

Anti-impotence drug Viagra may help treat certain cancers and neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, a new study claims.

Viagra in combination with new drugs can block chaperone proteins, with anti-cancer, antibacterial, and other therapeutic effects, researchers said.

Chaperone proteins play an important role in protein folding in human cells and in bacteria and are promising new targets for drugs to treat cancer and Alzheimer’s disease and for novel antiviral drugs and antibiotics.

Researchers described how Viagra and a derivative of the drug Celebrex, for example, can reduce the activity of a specific chaperone protein, with the potential for anti-tumour and anti-Alzheimer’s disease effects.

Laurence Booth, Jane Roberts and Paul Dent, from the Virginia Commonwealth University, US, provided a comprehensive discussion of the HSPA5/Dna K chaperone protein and the published evidence for its role in various human diseases.

The authors describe how OSU-03012, an experimental compound derived from the drug celecoxib (Celebrex) interacts with Viagra or Cialis to reduce levels of chaperone proteins.

Reduced levels of HSPA5 and Dna K can interfere with virus replication, promote bacterial cell death, and even make drug-resistant “superbugs” susceptible to existing antibiotics.

“Drugs like Celebrex and Viagra are readily available and generally recognised as safe. This study by Booth and colleagues may lead to new applications of these relatively new medicines,” said Carol Shoshkes Reiss, Professor, Departments of Biology and Neural Science, New York University.

“The potential impact, if the experiments described are translatable to human disease, could be paradigm-shifting. The potential applications are serious antibiotic resistant infections, chemotherapy-resistant cancers and neurodegenerative disease ranging from Parkinson’s disease to Huntington’s or Alzheimer’s disease,” Reiss added.

The research was published in the journal DNA and Cell Biology.

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