Wine chemical an alternative to chemotherapy?

17th March, 2014 by Lauren Eads

A chemical found in red wine could slow cancer growth without the “toxicity and irritation” of chemotherapy and improve surgical outcomes for bladder cancer, according to a recent report.

A woman tasting red wine

A new report published by scientists at the Dalian Medical University in China suggests that a natural phenol credited with giving red wine its anti-aging properties may also help fight bladder cancer.

Scientists believe that Resveratrol, a chemical found in red wine, may one day allow diabetics and other bladder cancer patients to avoid the “strong systemic toxicity and local irritation” of chemotherapy.

Bladder cancer accounts for about 2.6% of cancer deaths in the US and is more prevalent in diabetics than in the general public.

In laboratory tests, cancerous human cells were exposed to different concentrations of Resveratrol for 1 or 2 hours to mimic “intravesical therapy”, a procedure delivering a drug solution into the bladder through a urethral catheter.

A report on the study said: “The findings were just as encouraging when Resveratrol was used to treat mice that had been infected with human bladder cancer. When instilled in the bladders of these mice, the non-toxic Resveratrol solution appeared to trigger a cascade of destructive cellular processes in malignant cells without affecting healthy cells.

“This treatment caused growth suppression, distinctive apoptosis [cell death], and STAT3 inactivation of the transplanted tumors without affecting normal urothelium [bladder lining].”

The team has said theirs is the first to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of Resveratrol as a post-operative treatment for bladder cancer.

Although Resveratrol is a component in red wine, there is no evidence that consuming wine has any effect on bladder cancer.

Resveratrol has been linked to several studies claiming it to have beneficial properties from stopping the growth of lung cancer cells and preventing loss of limbs in diabetics, to anti-ageing properties.

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