Resveratrol Enhances Anti-Breast Cancer Activity of Rapamycin
Posted Feb 16 2011 10:00am
Resveratrol is a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound found in a variety of foods, especially red grapes. Because of its reported health benefits, including potential heart health and weight loss benefits, resveratrol has become one of the most popular dietary supplements. Research on the potential cancer fighting benefits of resveratrol is still in its infancy, but early research suggests that resveratrol can suppress breast cancer cell growth .
A new breast cancer cell culture study examined the effect of resveratrol in combination with rapamycin , a drug with anti-tumor activities, on breast cancer cell growth. The breast cancer researchers treated both rapamycin-sensitive breast cancer cells and rapamycin-resistant breast cancer cells with a combination of rapamycin and resveratrol. The results of these breast cancer cell culture studies showed that
Treatment with resveratrol plus rapamycin induced a greater inhibition of breast cancer cell growth compared with rapamycin alone.
This additive inhibition of breast cancer cell growth appeared to be through the suppression of a rapamycin-induced pathway.
Resveratrol appeared to suppress the breast cancer cells' ability to become resistant to rapamycin treatment.
In all three breast cancer cell lines tested, the combination of rapamycin and resveratrol at low concentrations reduced cell growth by about 50%.
The additive effects of rapamycin plus resveratrol in this study add to the emerging information that resveratrol might have breast cancer fighting benefits. While rapamycin has been shown to have anti-cancer properties, breast cancer cells become resistant to it over time through a cell signaling feedback loop. This new breast cancer study suggests that resveratrol can suppress this feedback loop, thus helping to prevent breast cancer cells from becoming resistant to rapamycin. Therefore, it is possible that this combination of resveratrol and rapamycin might have benefits as a future breast cancer therapy; however, additional research will need to be done in animal studies and human clinical studies to show that this combination is effective in people and not just cell culture systems. Nonetheless, these results are encouraging in regards to the cancer fighting benefits of resveratrol and resveratrol-containing foods like red wine and boiled peanuts.