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Wednesday, 27 Sep 2006
Cialis Improves Erectile Dysfunction Caused by Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer

According to the results of a study published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, Cialis (tadalafil) effectively treats erectile dysfunction in men treated with three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy for prostate cancer.

Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT) refers to the use of a special CT scan and computer to better locate the prostate gland and more precisely aim the radiation. The use of 3D-CRT appears to reduce the chance of injury to nearby body structures, such as the bladder or rectum.

Since 3D-CRT can better target the area of cancer, radiation oncologists are evaluating whether higher doses of radiation can be given safely while achieving greater cure rates.

Preliminary data from several cancer programs suggests that the higher radiation dose delivered with 3D-CRT can reduce the rate of local cancer recurrence.

Erectile dysfunction is a potential side effect of radiation therapy for prostate cancer. The definition of erectile dysfunction used in the current study was “the inability to attain and/or maintain penile erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual activity.”

To evaluate the effectiveness of Cialis in treating erectile dysfunction among prostate cancer patients treated with 3D-CRT, researchers in the Netherlands conducted a study among 60 men. All study participants reported normal erectile function before radiation therapy, and all had completed radiation therapy at least 12 months previously.

Cialis is a drug that acts in a similar manner to Viagra® (sildenafil citrate), but is effective for up to 36 hours.

Study participants were given either Cialis (20 mg) or a placebo and instructed to take it when they chose, but at least once a week and no more than once daily. Study participants were not told whether they had been given Cialis or a placebo. After six weeks, study participants were switched to the other medication (from Cialis to placebo or from placebo to Cialis) for another six weeks. At the end of each six-week study period, participants completed a questionnaire about their sexual experiences.

67% of patients reported that their erectile function improved while taking Cialis. 20% of patients reported that their erectile function improved while taking the placebo.

48% of patients had successful sexual intercourse during treatment with Cialis. Only 9% of patients reported successful sexual intercourse during treatment with the placebo.

Side effects that were more common during treatment with Cialis than during treatment with the placebo were headache, indigestion, and flushing. These side effects were transient and tended to be mild or moderate.

The researchers concluded that Cialis was effective and well tolerated. Among men experiencing erectile dysfunction after 3D-CRT for prostate cancer, roughly half reported successful sexual intercourse after treatment with Cialis.


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