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I’ve heard that Viagra has been used to help treat some forms of cancer. How is it that a drug designed to overcome the symptoms of erectile dysfunction could be of any use in treating cancer?

Doctors who specialize in the treatment of cancer have long sought ways to attack cancer cells that ironically are sometimes protected by the body’s immune system. Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, found that combining sildenafil with a derivative of celecoxib, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug sometimes marketed as Celebrex, successfully killed brain cancer stem cells.

The combination works by targeting a protein known as GRP78, a so-called chaperone protein that serves to protect the integrity of certain cells, including certain cancer cells.

The combination succeeded in doing an end run around GRP78 to attack and kill the cancer cells. Moreover, the combination of sildenafil with the celecoxib derivative called OSU-03012, also known as AR-12, has potent antimicrobial properties.

Scientists said this combination drug could also prove effective in treating viral infections such as influenza, hepatitis, and Ebola, as well as antibiotic-resistant bacteria such MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).

About the Author

Mark Delano is the Managing Editor and handles all day to day operations for HealthyMale.com. He is a personal fitness trainer, nutritionist and avid mountain biker who also enjoys exploring the trails of Arizona. Besides his everyday duties at HealthyMale, Mark is also a guest columnist for several blogs related to men's health.

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