Phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors are suggested to have anti-tumor effects and to inhibit surgery-induced immunosuppression. We aimed to explore whether post-diagnostic use of PDE5 inhibitors was associated with a better prognosis among male patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) and the role of open surgery in the association. Here we show that post-diagnostic use of PDE5 inhibitors is associated with a decreased risk of CRC-specific mortality (adjusted HR = 0.82, 95% CI 0.67-0.99) as well as a decreased risk of metastasis (adjusted HR = 0.85, 95% CI 0.74-0.98). Specifically, post-operative use of PDE5 inhibitors has a strong anti-cancer effect. The reduced risk of metastasis is mainly due to distant metastasis but not regional lymphatic metastasis. PDE5 inhibitors have the potential to be an adjuvant drug for patients with CRC to improve prognosis, especially those who have undergone open surgery.
- Cancer och onkologi