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  • Resveratrol Unlimited: Cancer Therapy

    January 8, 2018: by Bill Sardi

    Resveratrol is the elephant in the room when it comes to cancer.  No single cancer drug has been developed with such broad anti-cancer activity.   The anti-cancer qualities of resveratrol are summarized in a recent report published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

    Apart from its selective ability to kill cancer cells when delivered in high doses, there are many other beneficial properties of resveratrol that simply are untapped by modern oncology.

    For example, a flurry of research studies involve resveratrol’s ability to stabilize the so-called “microenvironment” that surrounds solid tumors.  Resveratrol inhibits the enzyme (metalloproteinase) that degrades the gooey connective tissue that normally keeps cancer cells in place.  Once degraded, tumor cells can obtain nourishment and navigate into the blood circulation and start a colony elsewhere in the body, a process called metastasis.  Without degradation of surrounding tissue, tumors cannot migrate, invade and spread.

    Two polyphenols found in grapes and concentrated in red wine, resveratrol and quercetin, have been found to exhibit the strongest inhibition of enzymes that degrade extracellular tissue (outside of cancer cells) that facilitates their access to nutrition and spread to other organs.

    Resveratrol also inhibits a growth factor (vascular endothelial growth factor) and blocks the outcropping new blood vessels that feed tumors.

    Another observed action of resveratrol is its ability to trigger arrival of a massive number of activated T-cells in the tumor microenvironment.  T-cells are white blood cells that can kill cancer cells.  Under normal circumstances the arrival of T-cells generates uncontrolled inflammation and makes matter worse.  But remarkably, resveratrol reduces inflammation at tumor sites while still activating T-cells.

    Here are the many other ways resveratrol addresses cancer:

    • Reduces tumor volume prior to surgery
    • Protects healthy cells from toxic effects of chemotherapy
    • Adjuvant to chemotherapy to inhibit invasion and metastasis
    • Sensitizes cancer cells to chemotherapy and radiation therapy
    • Enhances the effect of cancer drugs and overcome drug resistance
    • Protecta against toxicity caused by radiation therapy
    • Stabilizes the cancer environment
    • Inhibits the outcropping of new blood vessels that feed tumors
    • Kills off cancer stem cells that often lead to cancer recurrence

    Does resveratrol actually work outside of lab dishes and the animal lab?  Researchers obtained tissue specimens from the milk duct of breast cancer patients and found resveratrol inhibited markers of growth and improved markers of immunity.  This suggests resveratrol has application to prevent relapse of cancer following treatment.

    Cancer researchers continue to harp on the alleged fact that resveratrol is simply not biologically available, since once absorbed into the blood circulation it is rapidly shuttled to the liver for detoxification (attached to sulfate and glucuronate) that would render it biologically useless.

    But as researchers now discover, most of resveratrol is conjugated (joined) with sulfate, which is as active or even more active than resveratrol itself.  And even more surprising, resveratrol-sulfate converts back to its parent molecule (resveratrol) and exerts biological action in both forms for as long as 24 hours.  Then resveratrol can throw cancer cells into a senescent (non-reproductive) state or induce tumor cell death (apoptosis).

    These researchers say while “there is considerable commercial interest in developing resveratrol-like drugs and delivery systems aimed at side-stepping liver metabolism, this may not be necessary to…  deliver efficacious concentrations to target tissues.”

    In other words, all of the efforts to synthetically make a bioavailable form of resveratrol may be in vain and cannot be used as an excuse to delay use of resveratrol in the cancer clinic.

    But four years after researchers report both metabolized (sulfated) and un-sulfated forms of resveratrol are biologically active, cancer researchers continue to say resveratrol’s lack of bioavailability is a “major obstacle” to its use for cancer.   It’s obvious, oncology is dragging its feet over adoption of resveratrol into ant-cancer regimens.

    Any day oncologists can take resveratrol out of the research closet and put it to use in the cancer clinic.  Numerous studies now point it its safe use, even with chemotherapy drugs.  ©2017 Bill Sardi,

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