Grapes give boost to bowel cancer treatment
A team of researchers has shown for the first time that grape seed can be combined with chemotherapy to improve treatment for bowel cancer.
Researchers from University of Adelaide said that combining grape seed extracts with chemotherapy has potential as a new approach for bowel cancer treatment - to both reduce intestinal damage commonly caused by cancer chemotherapy and to enhance its effect.
Lead author Dr Amy Cheah said there is a growing body of evidence about the antioxidant health benefits of grape seed tannins or polyphenols as anti-inflammatory agents and, more recently, for their anti-cancer properties.
"Our research also showed that in laboratory studies grape seed taken orally significantly reduced inflammation and tissue damage caused by chemotherapy in the small intestine, and had no harmful effects on non-cancerous cells. Unlike chemotherapy, grape seed appears to selectively act on cancer cells and leave healthy cells almost unaffected," Dr Cheah, researcher in the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, said.
The researchers used commercially available grape seed extract, a by-product of winemaking. Tannins extracted from the grape seed were freeze-dried and powdered. The extract was tested in laboratory studies using colon cancer cells grown in culture.
It was found that grape seed extract reduced chemotherapy-induced inflammation and damage and helped protect healthy cells in the gastrointestinal tract,.
In contrast, the research also found that that grape seed extract not only aided the ability of chemotherapy to kill cancer cells, but was also more potent than the chemotherapy we tested at one concentration.
The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.
(Posted on 15-02-2014)