Study shows resveratrol may be able to combat prostate tumor cells
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/19/2012 -- A recent study published in the Journal of Andrology and Cancer Science has found that a compound in grape skins, which is also found in red wine, may be able to combat prostate cancer.
Besides the potential cancer-fighting qualities, the compound – resveratrol – has been found to offer other significant benefits in previous studies, including preventing strokes and aiding in general cardiovascular health.
Scientists conducting research at the University of Missouri discovered that by radiating cells that had contacted resveratrol became more susceptible to radiation treatment, potentially allowing for a full recovery from prostate cancer of all types.
In the study, Michael Nicholl, an assistant professor of surgical oncology at Missouri’s School of Medicine, stated that his research 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.”
“Other studies have noted that resveratrol made tumor cells more susceptible to chemotherapy, and we wanted to see if it had the same effect for radiation therapy,” Nicholl said.
Low levels of the proteins perforin and granzyme B are found in prostate cancer cells, and can be used to kill the cells, as long as they can be highly “expressed.”
During the study, resveratrol was introduced into cancerous prostate cells, resulting in 97 percent of them dying – a higher percentage than even radiation treatment alone provides.
In a press release, Nicholl said: “It is critical that both proteins, perforin and granzyme B, are present in order to kill the tumor cells, and we found that the resveratrol helped to increase their activity in prostate tumor cells.”
Nicholl noted that the researchers found that after the resveratrol-radiation treatment, they were able to kill significantly more cancer cells when compared with treating the tumor with radiation alone.
Resveratrol is present in not just grape skins and red wine. The compound is also sold as a supplement in grocery stores, drug stores, and health food stores. However, in order to achieve the same results as drinking red wine, the supplement dosage would be so high as to cause side effects on the user.
Nicholl said he researchers hope to begin human clinical trials once they receive the go ahead from the federal government.
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