Digoxin, was found to be one of the 38 drugs that could cut down the growth of prostate cancer by half, according to researchers at John Hopkins.
Digoxin has been traditionally used to treat patients with weakened hearts and heart rhythm abnormalities that could lead to heart failure. In this study that involved 47,000 men, the drug was administered to observe the effect it had on the risk of developing prostate cancer. Two per cent of the men were taking the drug, and they faced a 24 per cent lower risk.
Nevertheless, the distressing side effects - male breast enlargement, arrhythmias, nausea, vomiting and headache - did not make it a chosen drug as a chemopreventative. Nevertheless, the study will help researchers to understand how digoxin works and to work on developing other drugs that would work the same way.
Right now, Professor Elizabeth Platz, from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland warns that digoxin is not a drug to be used in prostate cancer therapy.