My husband had this cancer. Nice to know. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22266465
... A study published in
the journal Carcinogenesis shows that in both cell lines and mouse
models, grape seed extract (GSE) kills head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
cells, while leaving healthy cells unharmed.
“It’s a rather dramatic effect,” says Rajesh Agarwal, PhD, investigator at
the University of Colorado Cancer Center and professor at the Skaggs School of
It depends in large part, says Agarwal, on a healthy cell’s ability to wait
“Cancer cells are fast-growing cells,” Agarwal says. “Not only that, but they
are necessarily fast growing. When conditions exist in which they can’t grow,
Grape seed extract creates these conditions that are unfavorable to growth.
Specifically, the paper shows that grape seed extract both damages cancer cells’
DNA (via increased reactive oxygen species) and stops the pathways that allow
repair (as seen by decreased levels of the DNA repair molecules Brca1 and Rad51
and DNA repair foci).
“Yet we saw absolutely no toxicity to the mice, themselves,” Agarwal
Again, the grape seed extract killed the cancer cells but not the healthy
“I think the whole point is that cancer cells have a lot of defective
pathways and they are very vulnerable if you target those pathways. The same is
not true of healthy cells,” Agarwal says.
The Agarwal Lab hopes to move in the direction of clinical trials of grape
seed extract, potentially as an addition to second-line therapies that target
head and neck squamous cell carcinoma that has failed a first treatment.