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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 132-135

A new indication of sildenafil in medicine: Hypoxic cell sensitizer for penile cancer

Department of Radiation Oncology, Nanavati Hospital, Mumbai, India

Correspondence Address:
Nagraj G Huilgol
Division of Radiation Oncology, Dr. Balabhai Nanavati Hospital, Mumbai - 400 056
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1482.27589

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Purpose: To evaluate the feasibility and results of sildenafil used as radiosensitizer by causing penile vasodilatation and reducing tumor hypoxia in radical radiotherapy for penile cancer. Materials and Methods: Three men with histopathologic diagnosis of squamous carcinoma of penis were treated with radical external radiotherapy with concomitant sildenafil. Acute and late adverse events were noted according to RTOG toxicity criteria. Response to radiotherapy, as well as disease-free and overall survivals, was evaluated. Results: All three patients achieved tumescence, completed the treatment and achieved complete response. One patient had recurrence at 10 months and died of the disease after 23 months from starting the treatment. Other two patients are disease-free and alive at 48 and 53 months respectively. No excess acute or late adverse event was observed. Conclusion: Sildenafil may act as radiosensitizer by causing penile vasodilatation and reducing hypoxia. Larger controlled studies are required to validate the hypothesis.

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