Prostate cancer: Study shows eating grapes may stop prostate cancer from advancing
PROSTATE cancer cannot always be cured if the disease has reached the advanced stages, but a recent study has shown a certain fruit may prevent the cancer from advancing.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. It usually develops slowly and in many cases there many be no signs of the disease for years. In the earlier stages of the disease, treatment is not always necessary as the side effects of treatment can be harsh and the negatives of treatment may outweigh the benefits. In these instances, patients are sometimes advised to watch and wait to see if the cancer begins or has the potential to advance. When treatment is necessary, the aim is to cure or control the disease so it affects everyday life as little as possible and doesn't shorten life expectancy.
In the advanced stages of prostate cancer, when the cancer has spread, the aim is not always to cure it but to prolong life and delay symptoms.
A new study by scientists at the Howard University Cancer Center in Washington DC has revealed that the muscadine grape may arrest the advance of prostate cancer.
The muscadine grape is a type of grape native to the southeastern and south-central United States.
They can also be grown in the UK and can be eaten straight off the vine or made into jams, preserves or wines.
In new tests undertaken by the Howard University research team, the grapes stopped prostate cancer from advancing, even after it had spread from the prostate to other parts of the body.
This was because muscadine grape skin extract (MSKE) “significantly inhibited growth of metastatic, or secondary, cancerous cells”.
The scientists believe the natural polyphenols found in grapes are likely to have the same suppression effect on sick cells as those thought present in green tea, turmeric and pomegranate.
According to lead researcher Dr Diane Ignacio, MSKE targeted ‘PC-3 cells’, which have a high ability to spread from an initial cancerous site within the body to a secondary area.
MSKE also targeted the protein ‘Hsp40’, which plays a significant role in movement of cancer around the body.
“MSKE treatment significantly inhibited the growth of metastatic prostate tumour cells in vitro and in vivo by inducing cell-cycle arrest through the targeting of Hsp40 which is involved in cell-cycle progression and cell migration,” said Dr Ignacio.
“Furthermore, we demonstrated that MSKE was safe at high concentrations and had a beneficial effect on metastatic prostate cancer.
“Based on the present comprehensive findings, MSKE could be developed as a potential anticancer agent against prostate cancer.”
For the experiment, the research team examined the effects of MSKE treatment in metastatic prostate cancer – cancer which has spread.
They injected groups of young male athymic nude mice with PC-3 prostate cancer cells, and then treated the animals with MSKE. They then replicated the experiment using laboratory micro plates.
“A small number of trials have shown that grapes, along with components in other plants, have anti-proliferative properties and can cause cancer cell death,” said Dr Jiri Kubes, medical director at the Proton Therapy Center in Prague, Czech Republic.
“This study takes that research forward by identifying that this particular grape type may be effective.”