The compound resveratrol found in red wine and grapes might offer new hope for treating prostate cancer. Results of an investigation show resveratrol might help men recover from even aggressive forms of the disease.
Researchers discovered from past studies that resveratrol makes cancer tumors more susceptible to chemotherapy. University of Missouri-Columbia Scientists wanted to find out if the anti-oxidant could also make prostate cancer cells more susceptible to radiation treatment.
Michael Nicholl, an assistant professor of surgical oncology in the MU School of Medicine reports in a media release, “We found that when exposed to the compound, the tumor cells were more susceptible to radiation treatment, but that the effect was greater than just treating with both compounds separately."
It seems the combination of resveratrol and radiation therapy has a synergistic effect that increases levels of two key proteins that destroy cancer cells - perforin and granzyme B.
Nicholl said, "Following the resveratrol-radiation treatment, we realized that we were able to kill many more tumor cells when compared with treating the tumor with radiation alone. It's important to note that this killed all types of prostate tumor cells, including aggressive tumor cells."
But you can’t just take resveratrol capsules, eat grapes or drink red wine to eradicate prostate cancer cells.
According to Nicholl, it’s not that it takes a lot of resveratrol to destroy cancer cells, but rather the body processes it so well that it would mean ingesting large amounts to get to the site of a prostate cancer tumor.
The challenge for the researchers is finding a delivery method. Resveratrol is attractive for prostate cancer therapy because it’s a natural compound that most people have consumed.
Over the next few years the researchers hope to test the anti-oxidant in animals. If trials are successful, resveratrol could be developed for human trials as a drug to treat prostate cancer. The researchers think the red wine; grape compound could boost the chances of ‘full recovery’ from even aggressive types of prostate cancer.
University of Columbia-Missouri
November 8, 2012