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Resveratrol: Prevention of Skin Cancer

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An interest has been taken in the prevention methods of cancers. Chemoprevention involves the use of chemical treatments to suppress the activation of oncogenes, mutation of tumor suppressing genes, or a combination of the two. Studies of different chemicals as treatments for UV exposure have shown they also function as chemopreventors. Since treatment of skin cancers is the issue I have discussed, we will examine a study by Aziz, M et al. on the effect if resveratrol.

Resveratrol is a naturally occurring molecule in the phytoalexin family of compounds. Resveratrol is found in the skin of red grapes and is found in red wine. Several studies have looked at the possible effect of resveratrol for the treatment of cancer, especially skin cancer. In this particular study, resveratrol was used as a possible treatment for UVB exposure. In the study SKH-1 hairless mice (a particular mutant of mice) were exposed to UVB radiation (180J/cm,) twice a week for 28 weeks. The result was the production of skin tumors in these mice. In one set of mice, resveratrol was topically applied to the mouse’s skin 30 minutes before each radiation exposure. The second set of mice was exposed to UVB radiation followed by topical application of resveratrol 5 minutes later.

The result of the study demonstrated that topical application of resveratrol, both before and after application of UVB, caused a decrease in tumor incidence and a delay in the onset of tumorigenesis. Application of resveratrol reduced tumor multiplicity compared with mice receiving only UVB. The study further showed that application of resveratrol following UVB was significantly more effective than application before UVB radiation. A study by a board-certified dermatopathologist revealed that UVB exposure resulted in several tumors, including Bowen’s disease, invasive carcinomas, actinic keratoses, and squamous cell carcinoma. In resveratrol-treated groups, only actinic keratoses appeared in patients.

The result of the study was that application of resveratrol does not serve as a topical treatment (i.e. a skin cream) but rather is absorbed into the skin as functions to inhibit tumor production. The reason resveratrol reduced tumor incidence to only actinic keratoses is not understood, but it is believed that resveratrol inhibits the surviving-phosphorylation at Thr34. This mechanism results in the death of premalignant or malignant cell (which is proper cell regulation). While more research is need, resveratrol shows promise for chemoprevention.


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EmpowHER Guest

The important thing to note about the study cited is that it was topical application, not an oral supplement. Despite all of the exciting research that has been done on resveratrol, there is almost no evidence that it does any good as a supplement. The evidence that moderate regular wine consumption is good for you is fairly substantial though. i cover it all in my book Age Gets Better with Wine.

April 12, 2010 - 11:06am
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