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Oesophageal cancer: Viagra could boost survival rates and make chemo more effective, study finds

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erectile dysfunction could also kill cancer cells, a recent study has claimed.Researchers have revealed that a chemical found in Viagra, known as phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5), could help shrink cancers found in the oesophagus.The blue pill was also found to make chemotherapy more effective in those who are resistant to the treatment.According to the NHS, oesophageal cancer can be found anywhere in the oesophagus, also known as the food pipe.There are around 7,900 oesophageal cancer deaths every year in the UK, this equates to 22 deaths every day.Oesophageal cancer has much poorer outcomes and treatment options compared to other diseases.Lead author of the study, Professor Tim Underwood, from the University of Southampton, explained that this cancer can be resistant to chemotherapy.Previous research has found that 80 percent of people with oesophageal cancer do not respond to the treatment.Professor Tim said: “Finding a drug, which is already safely prescribed to people every day, could be a great step forward in tackling this hard-to-treat disease.”Want the Daily Star's sexiest stories news straight to your inbox?

Sign up to our daily Hot Topics newsletter HEREViagra works by relaxing cells that can sometimes protect cancer cells - which happens in those for whom chemo doesn’t work.The PDE5 affects the structure of the protective cells, making them floppy and no longer helping the tumour to thrive and spread.The Southampton study saw researchers test PDE5 inhibitor drugs on cancer cells in the lab on mice.Chemotherapy was found to be effective in 75 percent of cases compared to the usual 20 percent of oesophageal cancer patients.The study, published in the journal Cell Reports Medicine, hopes to start human trials.

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