Grape Seed Extract kills leukemia cells

January 09, 2009

Grape Seed Extract (GSE) makes otherwise immortal laboratory leukemia cells commit suicide, according to a new study from the University of Kentucky. When exposed to the extract, 76 percent of the leukemia cells were dead within 24 hours. The extract forces leukemia cells to commit “apoptosis,” or cell suicide, which is a kind of programmed cell death that cells in the body undergo either in the normal course of growth and development or when something goes wrong with them. Leukemia and other cancers block the cell signaling pathway that triggers apoptosis—this is to a degree how cancer keeps the defenses of the body at bay. GSE activates a protein called JNK that regulates the apoptotic pathway and allows damaged cells to commit suicide.
GSE has already demonstrated activity in other laboratory cancer cell lines, including breast, skin, lung, stomach, lymphoma, leukemia, myeloma, and prostate cancers. “What everyone seeks is an agent that has an effect on cancer cells but leaves normal cells alone, and this shows that grape seed extract fits into this category,” said study author X Shi, Ph.D. The investigators report their findings in the January 1, 2009, issue of Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research