Grape seed extract kills head and neck cancer cells, leaves healthy cells unharmed

Nearly 12,000 people will die of head and neck cancer in the United States this year and worldwide cases will exceed half a million.

A study published this week in the journal Carcinogenesis shows that in both cell lines and mouse models, grape seed extract (GSE) kills head and neck squamous cell , while leaving healthy cells unharmed.

"It's a rather dramatic effect," says Rajesh Agarwal, PhD, investigator at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and professor at the Skaggs School of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

It depends in large part, says Agarwal, on a healthy cell's ability to wait out damage.

"Cancer cells are fast-growing cells," Agarwal says. "Not only that, but they are necessarily fast growing. When conditions exist in which they can't grow, they die."

Grape seed extract creates these conditions that are unfavorable to growth. Specifically, the paper shows that grape seed extract both damages cancer cells' DNA (via increased reactive oxygen species) and stops the pathways that allow repair (as seen by decreased levels of the DNA repair molecules Brca1 and Rad51 and DNA repair foci).

"Yet we saw absolutely no toxicity to the mice, themselves," Agarwal says.

Again, the grape seed extract killed the cancer cells but not the healthy cells.

"I think the whole point is that have a lot of defective pathways and they are very vulnerable if you target those pathways. The same is not true of healthy cells," Agarwal says.

The Agarwal Lab hopes to move in the direction of clinical trials of , potentially as an addition to second-line therapies that target head and neck that has failed a first treatment.

Related Stories

Milk thistle extract stops lung cancer in mice

date Nov 15, 2011

Tissue with wound-like conditions allows tumors to grow and spread. In mouse lung cancer cells, treatment with silibinin, a major component of milk thistle, removed the molecular billboards that signal these wound-like conditions ...

Picking cancer stem cells out of the crowd

date Jun 15, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- Stem cells receive a vast amount of research attention due to their abilities to differentiate, heal, and divide in perpetuity, properties that yield promise for regenerative medicine. In cancer stem cells, ...

Recommended for you

Diagnosing cancer with help from bacteria

date 7 hours ago

Engineers at MIT and the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) have devised a new way to detect cancer that has spread to the liver, by enlisting help from probiotics—beneficial bacteria similar to ...

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

rubberman
Jan 27, 2012
Thev seeds of Apricots also contain the chemicals Latrice and Amygdalin which are toxic to cancer cells, I wonder if the same chemicals are present in the GSE....
rawa1
Jan 27, 2012
Grape seeds contain a lotta tannins, which are natural antioxydants because of their reductive nature. It's not surprising, the fast dividing and metabolising cancer cells are oxygen hungry and they don't like it. The high doses of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and dichloroacetic acid should work in the same way. Many people were reportedly cured from cancer just with fruit (pomegranate) juice diet, which contains lotta reductive chinones too.

http://en.wikiped...gadosage
http://en.wikiped...ications
wealthychef
Jan 27, 2012
I get that they are studying head and neck carcinoma. Are they saying that this does not work on other cancers, or just haven't gotten around to asking that obvious question?
dogbert
Jan 27, 2012
Good news. Hope this works into a viable therapy.

I wonder what quantity of grape seed extract is necessary for the noted effect.
Welshy
Jan 28, 2012
I wonder why we're not hearing more about this. I found this from 2009

"(NaturalNews) A new study conducted at the University of Kentucky in the United States, and published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, found that leukemia cancer cells exposed to grapeseed extract (GSE) were rapidly killed through a process of cell suicide known as "apoptosis."

In these laboratory studies, an astonishing 76% of leukemia cells committed suicide within 24 hours thanks to the ability of GSE to activate a protein called JNK, which regulates apoptosis."

corb
Jan 28, 2012
I wonder why we're not hearing more about this. I found this from 2009


Because grape seeds cannot be patented.
Shabs42
Jan 29, 2012
Don't tell Monsanto that. They've not only patented soybeans (or maybe corn...probably both) but sued farmers who are growing their patented varietals in their fields, even if by accident. Add a little more of magical quantity "X" to grapeseed and it can be patented easily enough.
dogbert
Jan 29, 2012
Apparently, anything, including natural substances, can be patented. An example is lovastatin, extracted from Red yeast rice and patented by Merck & Company.

Companies hold patents on human genes.

The patent system is seriously broken.
XQZME
Jan 31, 2012
I survived stage 4 basil and squamous cell carcinomas that progressed from my scalp to my spine (T3), two lung lobes and a large chest tumor. I had radiation and chemotherapy. And I adopted many of the discoveries I found on the internet.

I avoided sugar and red meats. I also avoided lunch meat and processed meat, eggs, fat, salt and white bread. I consumed foods and supplements with anti-angiogenesis, apoptosis stimulating or COX2 inhibiting or anti-inflammatory or oxygen enhancing properties. I also consumed supplements that enhance chemotherapy or penetrate and repair cells or increase circulation or slow or block cancer from spreading.

I took resveratrol, flax seed oil, COQ10, Quercetin, Curcumin/Cayenne, Bromelian, Garlic, Gingo Biloba, potatoes, fish, cranberry-grape juice, apple juice and orange juice.,

It is very important to know the grapes from which the GSE was extracted. Red grapes contain resveratrol, which may be effective in preventing prostate cancer growth.
wealthychef
Jan 31, 2012
@XQZME Yes, and there is Dr. Wahl, who had a recovery from M.S. based on diet. www.terrywahls.com/ While I'm not sick, I've changed my diet to hers as I'm interested in brain health and it just makes sense. Still, while understanding you can't patent this, why does that matter here?
PCB
Jan 31, 2012
Would you need to inject the Grape Seed Extract into the blood stream, or would consuming them suffice?
210
Feb 02, 2012
Would you need to inject the Grape Seed Extract into the blood stream, or would consuming them suffice?

No..the Resveratrol and other active food nutrients would survive ingestion. The real trick is proper blood flow, I mean enhanced circulatory function...if you are just sitting at the computer all day cut that out! Inject activities into your life than allow the blood vessels of the extremities to really open up., Please eat a balanced diet, and take that grape seed extract in/with every cup of tea you drink and especially, before bed, if your system can tolerate that.
word-to-ya-muthas
210
Feb 02, 2012
Thev seeds of Apricots also contain the chemicals Latrice and Amygdalin which are toxic to cancer cells, I wonder if the same chemicals are present in the GSE....

But, Apricot seeds contain Cyanogenics....they are deadly to us...hummm, well... that IS a cure. But, at this time I will pass on it most respectfully.

word-to-ya-muthas
C_elegans
Feb 03, 2012
Most cancer drugs are damaging to the host. The hope is that they will be greatly more damaging to a fastly growing anoxic and aneuploid tumor. The apricot seeds may be more readily metabolized in the tumor.
learn60
Feb 03, 2012
In response to 210 so can you take too much GSE?
210
Feb 03, 2012
In response to 210 so can you take too much GSE?

It would be VERY HARD, very. However, if I am allowed to assume total sanity in all users, GSE is slammed full of flavonoids; it is reaching for the gold medal in health foods that have not been modified or enhanced by human activity. Keep a packet of it with you and as you get that morning coffee, sprinkle it in. If your daily work or gym workout sees you bringing along a water bottle or Camelpack, I recommend a mixture of green tea, GSE, and or Organic Nettle Tea: refill with bottled water at 1/4 consumed in your container and try to push at least 2.5 Liters through your system. Workout as HARD as you can for the condition you are in, and for those of the' persuasion', go home, shower and then spend the next several hours giving your wife a vigorous massage in the lowest of light, the softest of music, the sweetest of incense, the phones switched off, but the movement should include nice long strokes, dig??
word-to ya-muthas
210
Feb 03, 2012
Hey, I think this story is also relevant to fighting such diseases: http://medicalxpr...ife.html

word-
rubberman
Feb 03, 2012
Thev seeds of Apricots also contain the chemicals Latrice and Amygdalin which are toxic to cancer cells, I wonder if the same chemicals are present in the GSE....

But, Apricot seeds contain Cyanogenics....they are deadly to us...hummm, well... that IS a cure. But, at this time I will pass on it most respectfully.

word-to-ya-muthas


True that my brutha, but you have to eat around 40 to get sick. 50-70 for lethality.

http://www.hc-sc....-eng.php

I'd link something to the positive effects but googling it will get you more links than you can read....

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.