Resveratrol inhibits cancer stem cell renewal

Resveratrol is a natural polyphonic compound and has been shown to have a novel anti-tumour effect with various types of cancers. According to research from Pandy PR et al (Breast Cancer Res Treat 2011 Nov30 (2)387-98), resveratrol is capable of inducing apoptosis (cell death) in the cancer stem-like cells through altering the cells death code.

Several studies in 2012 confirmed the presence of cancer stem cells at the heart of tumours. And that existing chemotherapy had no action against them. Researchers at the National Cancer Institute showed that poor diets would cause the stem cells to regrow the tumour but natural compounds in good foods (such as curcumin, piperine, resveratrol, EGCG, vitamin E and A, theanine, inositol etc) would stop this re-growth.

Cancer stem cells can proliferate and self-renew extensively due to their ability to generate anti-cell death and even drug resistant proteins. Research by Shankar S. Nall D, Tang S-N, Meeker D, Passarini J et al (2011) resveratrol inhibits human pancreatic cancer stem cells and concluded that resveratrol could be used for the management of pancreatic cancer.

But that’s not all. ‘Resveratrol may be a useful chemopreventative/chemotherapeutic agent for prostate cancer,’ according to early research from the American Association of Cancer Research 1999 (Dept of Urology and Biochemistry, Mayo Clinic). Resveratrol inhibits androgen action in the LNCaP prostate cancer cell line and represses certain androgen genes. The effect is that it inhibits androgen-stimulated cell growth and gene expression. 

Other work by Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute (San Antonio, Texas) showed resveratrol can work with the immune system to inhibit blood supply to prostate tumours.

And for breast cancer too -  the New York Medical College in Valhalla) published research in 2011 showing resveratrol, and a metabolite triacetyl-resveratrol, can inhibit breast cancer, whether oestrogen positive or negative (International Journal of Cancer Jan 2011) 

Several studies show that resveratrol’s action seems to be dose and duration dependant. At low doses it may encourage adult stem cells and cancer stem cells to re-grow but at  higher doses, resveratrol inhibits cancer stem cell renewal. 


April - June Cancer Watch 2013
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