A researcher working with the University of Missouri (MU) now claims that a chemical compound typically found in grapes and red wine can successfully be used to up the efficiency of radiation treatment intended to tackle prostate cancer.
Apparently, this chemical compound, known as resveratrol, has long been known to improve on the wellbeing of the body's circulatory system. As well as this, several studies have shown that it is quite efficient in preventing strokes.
According to Michael Nicholl, presently employed as an assistant professor of surgical oncology in the MU School of Medicine, it can also be used to make cancerous tumors respond better to radiation treatment, regardless of how aggressive they might be.
“Other studies have noted that resveratrol made tumor cells more susceptible to chemotherapy, and we wanted to see if it had the same effect for radiation therapy,” Michael Nicholl explains.
Furthermore, “We found that when exposed to the compound, the tumor cells were more susceptible to radiation treatment, but that the effect was greater than just treating with both compounds separately.”
The experiments carried out by Michael Nicholl showed that, when the prostate tumor cells were exposed to resveratrol prior to their being subjected to radiation treatment, as many as 97% of them died.
However, the dose of resveratrol that must be administered to the tumor cells in order to obtain this effect is significant, to say the least, and researchers fear that this might cause the patients to experience various side effects.
“We don't need a large dose at the site of the tumor, but the body processes this compound so efficiently that a person needs to ingest a lot of resveratrol to make sure enough of it ends up at the tumor site. Because of that challenge, we have to look at different delivery methods for this compound to be effective,” said researcher explains.