Study Says Red Wine Compound May Improve Mesothelioma Treatment “Synergistically”, According to Surviving Mesothelioma

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Korean researchers say adding resveratrol to the treatment protocol makes mesothelioma cells more susceptible to certain kinds of drug therapy.

These results...provide a scientific rationale for clinical evaluation of resveratrol as a promising chemopotentiator in malignant mesothelioma.

In a study published in Food and Chemical Toxicology and reported by Surviving Mesothelioma, a team of Korean cancer researchers found more evidence of the cancer-fighting power of resveratrol. Resveratrol is a natural phenol found in the skin of red grapes and plentiful in red wine and dark grape juice. It has been the subject of numerous cancer studies, but the Korean team was the first to study its effect specifically in mesothelioma.

According to their new research, when resveratrol is used along with clofarabine, a drug typically used to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the two have a “strong cytotoxic effect” on mesothelioma cells. Mesothelioma cells treated with both compounds accumulated higher levels of the tumor suppressor p53 in their nuclei, triggering apoptosis (cell death). The effect was not seen in healthy mesothelial cells.

In a summary of their findings, the study’s authors write, “These results demonstrate that resveratrol and clofarabine synergistically elicit apoptotic signal via a p53-dependent pathway and provide a scientific rationale for clinical evaluation of resveratrol as a promising chemopotentiator in malignant mesothelioma.”

Mesothelioma is a rare but aggressive malignancy usually caused by exposure to asbestos. Even with conventional treatments such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, the prognosis is usually grim. The world’s mesothelioma researchers are actively looking for alternative treatments that may offer better outcomes. If further studies confirm the chemosensitizing power of resveratrol, it may eventually become a regular part of mesothelioma treatment.

The original resveratrol study appears in a recent issue of Food and Chemical Toxicology. (Lee, YJ, “Resveratrol contributes to chemosensitivity of malignant mesothelioma cells with activation of p53”, November 13, 2012, Food and Chemical Toxicology, Epub ahead of print,

For nearly ten years, Surviving Mesothelioma has brought readers the most important and ground-breaking news on the causes, diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma. All Surviving Mesothelioma news is gathered and reported directly from the peer-reviewed medical literature. Written for patients and their loved ones, Surviving Mesothelioma news helps families make more informed decisions.

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Michael Ellis
Cancer Monthy
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