As colorectal cancer gets more aggressive, treatment with grape seed extract is even more effective

January 17, 2013 by Garth Sundem
Molly Derry, PhD candidate at the University of Colorado Cancer Center

(Medical Xpress)—When the going gets tough, grape seed extract gets going: A University of Colorado Cancer Center study recently published in the journal Cancer Letters shows that the more advanced are colorectal cancer cells, the more GSE inhibits their growth and survival. On the other end of the disease spectrum, GSE leaves healthy cells alone entirely.

"We've known for quite a while that the bioactive compounds in grape seed extract selectively target many cells. This study shows that many of the same mutations that allow colorectal cancer cells to metastasize and survive traditional therapies make them especially sensitive to treatment with GSE," says Molly Derry, doctoral candidate in the lab of Rajesh Agarwal, PhD, investigator at the CU Cancer Center and professor at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and .

Derry notes this is an especially important finding in light of increasing colorectal cancer rates (due in part to increasingly high-fat diets and ) and a low screening rate; that means 60 percent of patients diagnosed have already reached the advanced stage of the disease.

"Finding a way to selectively target advanced colorectal cancer cells could have major clinical importance," Derry says.

The group performed their experiments on colorectal cancer cell lines representing various stages of the disease. Whereas it generally takes much more chemotherapy to kill a stage IV cancer cell than a stage II cancer cell, Derry saw that the reverse was true with .

"It required less than half the concentration of GSE to suppress cell growth and kill 50 percent of stage IV cells than it did to achieve similar results in the stage II cells," Derry says.

The group also discovered a likely mechanism of GSE's preferential targeting of advanced colorectal cancer cells: when were treated with antioxidants the GSE induced cell death was reversed and so Derry and colleagues consider it likely that GSE targets colorectal cancer through inducing oxidative stress that leads to the programmed cell death known as apoptosis.

"A colorectal cancer cell can have upwards of 11,000 genetic mutations – differences from the DNA in healthy cells. Traditional chemotherapies may only target a specific mutation and as cancer progresses more mutations occur. These changes can result in cancer that is resistance to chemotherapy. In contrast, the many of GSE are able to target multiple mutations. The more mutations a cancer presents, the more effective GSE is in targeting them," Derry says.

The Agarwal Lab continues its preclinical work studying the effectiveness and action of dietary compounds against cancer and encourages further exploration of their findings in clinical settings.

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

More information: www.sciencedirect.com/science/ … ii/S030438351200732X

Related Stories

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

January 27, 2012
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.

Potential new colorectal cancer treatment target identified

October 7, 2012
(HealthDay)—The cell surface marker carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 6 (CD66c) is a novel marker for colorectal cancer stem cell isolation, which halts tumor growth when silenced, according to research ...

Whole grape - seed and skin - may be perfect colon cancer fighting food

June 2, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Colorado State University researchers may have unlocked the secret to why drinking wine and eating grapes can fight colon cancer. The study looks at how two grape compounds work in conjunction to kill ...

New class of cancer drugs could work in colon cancers with genetic mutation, study finds

April 25, 2011
A class of drugs that shows promise in breast and ovarian cancers with BRCA gene mutations could potentially benefit colorectal cancer patients with a different genetic mutation, a new study from the University of Michigan ...

Study finds colorectal cancer mortality dropping slower in African Americans

December 22, 2011
A new study finds that while colorectal cancer mortality rates dropped in the most recent two decades for every stage in both African Americans and whites, the decreases were smaller for African Americans, particularly for ...

Recommended for you

New therapeutic approach for difficult-to-treat subtype of ovarian cancer identified

July 24, 2017
A potential new therapeutic strategy for a difficult-to-treat form of ovarian cancer has been discovered by Wistar scientists. The findings were published online in Nature Cell Biology.

Anti-cancer chemotherapeutic agent inhibits glioblastoma growth and radiation resistance

July 24, 2017
Glioblastoma is a primary brain tumor with dismal survival rates, even after treatment with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. A small subpopulation of tumor cells—glioma stem cells—is responsible for glioblastoma's ...

Immune cells the missing ingredient in new bladder cancer treatment

July 24, 2017
New research offers a possible explanation for why a new type of cancer treatment hasn't been working as expected against bladder cancer.

No dye: Cancer patients' gray hair darkened on immune drugs

July 21, 2017
Cancer patients' gray hair unexpectedly turned youthfully dark while taking novel drugs, and it has doctors scratching their heads.

Shooting the achilles heel of nervous system cancers

July 20, 2017
Virtually all cancer treatments used today also damage normal cells, causing the toxic side effects associated with cancer treatment. A cooperative research team led by researchers at Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center ...

Molecular changes with age in normal breast tissue are linked to cancer-related changes

July 20, 2017
Several known factors are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer including increasing age, being overweight after menopause, alcohol intake, and family history. However, the underlying biologic mechanisms through ...

0 comments

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.