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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
 
 
 

Prospective pilot study of sildenafil for treatment of postradiotherapy erectile dysfunction in patients with prostate cancer.

PURPOSE: Erectile dysfunction is a common late complication patients may experience after external-beam radiotherapy for prostate cancer. The efficacy and safety of oral sildenafil to correct sexual dysfunction caused by external-beam radiotherapy was studied in patients participating in our prospective trial. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Thirty-five assessable patients participated in this prospective pilot study. Using a 25-point scale based on the International Index of Sexual Function, erectile dysfunction was assessed weekly, during which time patients received sildenafil 100 mg orally once a week for 6 consecutive weeks. Response was defined as a score of 18 or more, corresponding to at least one successful attempt at sexual intercourse per week. RESULTS: Thirty patients (86%) completed the 6-week study. Seventy-seven percent of these patients had significantly improved erectile function, allowing recovery of full capacity for sexual intercourse. Of 27 patients not receiving concomitant hormone treatment, failure to respond was observed in only four patients (15%) compared with four (50%) of eight patients receiving hormonal treatment during the study. The time course of response was gradual, with 40%, 57%, 66%, 69%, and 74% responding at weeks 1 through 5, respectively. Therapy was generally well tolerated. The most frequently reported side effects in patients were flushing (37%), transient headache (17%), and dyspepsia (9%). No patient reported priapism, and no cardiovascular event or death was observed. After response, 12 patients (34%) reported the ability to achieve and maintain an erection sufficient for intercourse in the absence of sildenafil (ie, 24 hours to 6 days after taking the medication). CONCLUSION: This study suggests that oral sildenafil is well tolerated and can reverse erectile dysfunction after radiotherapy in a substantial proportion of prostate cancer patients.[1]

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