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Oct 12, 2013 07:36 AM EDT

Anti-Oxidant Found In Grapes, Red Wine Destroys Certain Cancer Cells, Study

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Another significant step forward in finding a cure for cancer!

Resveratrol, a compound found in grape skins and red wine, can help in destroying certain cancer cells, according to a new study conducted by University of Missouri researchers. The antioxidant is found to increase the efficiency of radiation treatments.

 Now researchers have to determine a method to transport the compound to tumor sites to possibly treat many types of cancers.

"Our study investigated how resveratrol and radiotherapy inhibit the survival of melanoma cells," said Michael Nicholl, MD, assistant professor of surgery at the MU School of Medicine and surgical oncologist at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center in Columbia, Mo., in an official statement. "This work expands upon our previous success with resveratrol and radiation in prostate cancer. Because of difficulties involved in delivery of adequate amounts of resveratrol to melanoma tumors, the compound is probably not an effective treatment for advanced melanoma at this time."

The study found melanoma cells treated with resveratrol are more acceptable to radiation compared to cells that were not treated with the naturally occurring compound.

Through the study, Nicholl found that when the cancer was treated with resveratrol, 44 percent of the tumor cells were killed. On the other hand, 65 percent of the tumor cells died when the cancer cells were treated with a combination of both resveratrol and radiation.

"We've seen glimmers of possibilities, and it seems that resveratrol could potentially be very important in treating a variety of cancers," Nicholl said. "It comes down to how to administer the resveratrol. If we can develop a successful way to deliver the compound to tumor sites, resveratrol could potentially be used to treat many types of cancers. Melanoma is very tricky due to the nature of how the cancer cells travel throughout the body, but we envision resveratrol could be combined with radiation to treat symptomatic metastatic tumors, which can develop in the brain or bone."

Even though the finding has established a link between Resveratrol and the death of cancer cells, Nicholl does not encourage patients to solely depend on resveratrol supplements because more research needs to be conducted to strengthen this finding.

The study has been published in the Journal of Surgical Research, the journal for the Association for Academic Surgery, in an article entitled, "A potential role for resveratrol as a radiation sensitizer for melanoma treatment."

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