Red wine compound increases anti-tumor effect of rapamycin

Feb 14, 2011

Cleveland – Researchers from Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute have discovered that resveratrol – a compound found in red wine – when combined with rapamycin can have a tumor-suppressing effect on breast cancer cells that are resistant to rapamycin alone.

The research – recently published in Cancer Letters – also indicates that the PTEN tumor-suppressing gene contributes to resveratrol's anti-tumor effects in this treatment combination.

Charis Eng, MD, Ph.D., Chair of the Genomic Medicine Institute of Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute, led her team to study the effect of combining resveratrol, a chemopreventive drug found in many natural compounds, with rapamycin on cells. The research demonstrates an additive effect between these two drugs on breast cancer cell signaling and growth.

"Rapamycin has been used in clinical trials as a cancer treatment. Unfortunately, after a while, the develop resistance to rapamycin," Eng said. "Our findings show that resveratrol seems to mitigate rapamycin-induced drug resistance in breast cancers, at least in the laboratory. If these observations hold true in the clinic setting, then enjoying a glass of red wine or eating a bowl of boiled peanuts – which has a higher resveratrol content than red wine – before rapamycin treatment for cancer might be a prudent approach."

Rapamycin, an immunosuppressant drug used to prevent rejection in organ transplantation, has been considered for the use of anti-tumor activity against breast cancer. Resveratrol is a type of polyphenol that is found in the skin of red grapes and is a constituent of , and has been considered for multiple uses regarding cellular therapies.

Despite the potential for tumor suppression, rapamycin's efficacy with respect to growth inhibition differs markedly among various breast cancer cell lines. The effect of resveratrol and rapamycin, alone and in combination, on cell growth of three human breast cancer cell lines was assessed. Rapamycin, resveratrol, and combinations of these agents inhibited cell growth in a dose-dependent manner. In all three cell lines tested, the presence of low concentrations of resveratrol and was sufficient to induce 50 percent growth inhibition. Although relatively early, these observations may suggest resveratrol as a powerful integrative medicine adjunct to traditional chemotherapy.

Explore further: Marine Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake is associated with lower risk of MSI-high CRC

Provided by Lerner Research Institute

4.5 /5 (8 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

An Achilles heel in cancer cells

Dec 08, 2008

A protein that shields tumor cells from cell death and exerts resistance to chemotherapy has an Achilles heel, a vulnerability that can be exploited to target and kill the very tumor cells it usually protects, researchers ...

Recommended for you

Experts set strategic priorities for lymphoma research

9 hours ago

A committee of lymphoma experts today unveiled a strategic roadmap identifying key priority areas in both infrastructure and research that will be critical for advancing treatments for people with lymphoma. The report is meant to inform future research directions as well as fund ...

Research aims to reduce health care disparities

9 hours ago

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual, queer/questioning and intersex (LGBTQI) population has been largely understudied by the medical community. Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center found that the LGBTQI community ...

Promising drug target identified in medulloblastoma

10 hours ago

Scientists at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center have identified a protein critical to both the normal development of the brain and, in many cases, the development of medulloblastoma, a fast-growing ...

User comments : 0

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.