Resveratrol Kills Cancer Cells

March 27, 2009

Numerous studies show that Resveratrol keeps genes in the cancer fighting business and inhibits genes and enzymes that allow cancer to flourish and spread. Other studies show that Resveratrol is toxic to cancer cells while at the same moment being protective and beneficial to healthy cells. Cancers of the prostate, breast, pancreas, skin, gastric, colon, esophageal, lymphoma, multiple myeloma and leukemia may respond if enough Resveratrol can reach the site. In a statement released by the University of Wisconsin researchers have found that Resveratrol may prove effective in treating neuroblastoma, a nervous-system cancer affecting mostly babies and children. After successful animal studies, researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health say their new treatment is ready for clinical trials.  

The leader of the Wisconsin research group, Dr. Arthur Polans, saw the possibility that Resveratrol might also be useful in fighting this nerve tissue cancer. “Resveratrol is a promising treatment for young children because its not toxic to healthy cells, only to cancer cells.” Dr. Polans is also studying the use of Resveratrol in treating uveal melanoma, a cancer of the eye. “What neuroblastoma and uveal melanoma have in common is the factor of time,” Polans said. “Ideally, youd like to be able to treat them aggressively at first, and then treat them with lower doses of a non-toxic compound over time. Otherwise, you run the risk of damage to vital organs or an increase in secondary tumors.”  

In addition, there is hope for Resveratrol helping treat other cancers as well, because the researchers have demonstrated that it also kills cancer cells and shrinks tumors in three other forms of cancerretinoblastoma, skin melanoma, and breast cancer.  

Previously University of Wisconsin researchers tested Resveratrol in mouse xenograft models of human neuroblastoma (the human cancer is surgically implanted in the animals) and in vitro using human cell lines. Resveratrol inhibited the outgrowth of tumors by as much as 80%. The bioavailability of the drug in serum was in the low micromolar range and no accumulation was observed in tumor tissue. When Resveratrol levels were increased by peritumor injection, rapid tumor regression occurred. Resveratrol decreased tumor cell viability in vitro by 75% to 90%, resulting from an inhibition of cell proliferation and an induction of apoptosis. Loss of mitochondrial membrane potential was an early response to Resveratrol. The researchers concluded that these studies indicated that, despite low bioavailability, Resveratrol is effective at inhibiting tumor growth. Elevated levels of Resveratrol enhance its antitumor potency leading to tumor regression, associated with widespread tumor cell death, the underlying mechanism of which involves the direct activation of the mitochondrial intrinsic apoptotic pathway. The study is published in the September 1st 2007 issue of the journal Clinical Cancer Research.