According to a small study and preliminary report, sildenafil can shrink disfiguring lymphatic growths in children, know as severe lymphatic malformations. The cause of the growths is unknown, but the masses of fluid and lymphatic vessels can grown as large as a basketball.
Doctors aren't sure how sildenafil works to shrink the growths, but one theory is that it stimulates circulation in the lymphatic system, allowing fluid to drain. The drugs new-found property was discovered while an infant was being given sildenafil for pulmonary hypertension, and doctors observed that a lymphatic growth shrunk during the treatment.
The cost of the treatment is reportedly up to $1,000 a month, but Pfizer has been donating the drugs. That's great - they win some points for that. But my question is, why is it so expensive in the first place? The drug is Revatio, which is essentially the same thing as Viagra, right? Is it just more expensive because it's packaged in a different dosage? That's one of the silly things about the pharma business - they charge you more for a smaller dose.
Anyway, the discovery is good news for kids with this rare condition, and may not be a cure, but at least offers hope for treatment.