Send to

Choose Destination
J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol. 2013 Feb;57(1):81-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1754-9485.2012.02461.x. Epub 2012 Oct 18.

A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of nightly sildenafil citrate to preserve erectile function after radiation treatment for prostate cancer.

Author information

Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.



Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common adverse event associated with treatment for prostate cancer. This study aimed to identify whether early, regular use of sildenafil after radiation treatment for prostate cancer is effective at reducing the rate of ED at 2 years.


A randomised controlled trial with 27 men planned for radiation treatment for localised prostate cancer recruited from a single radiotherapy centre in Australia. Men were randomised to receive daily sildenafil, or a placebo tablet, for 6 months. The primary end-point was erectile function, as measured by the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) score, at 2-year follow-up. The abridged IIEF-5 survey was also used during the treatment period, and could be derived from the full IIEF at other time-points. Two-sided Student's t-tests and Mann-Whitney U-tests were used for the analysis of continuous outcomes, with Fisher's exact test for dichotomous outcomes.


No difference was seen at 2 years in the primary end-point, and IIEF scores did not differ significantly between groups during the study. Men in the sildenafil group exhibited significantly better IIEF-5 scores at 4 weeks (P = 0.02) and 6 months (P = 0.02). There was no difference in erectile function scores between the two groups throughout the treatment period. No significant difference in adverse events was identified between the two groups.


There was no evidence from this trial that sildenafil provides long-term erectile function for patients while on medication. Regular use of sildenafil may improve short-term sexual function for patients while on medication. Larger trials are required to examine the effectiveness of implementing sildenafil for prostate cancer patients undergoing radiation treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center