Supplements & Herbs

Research studies: anti-cancer effect of resveratrol, pterostilbene and grapeseed extract

On science corroborating "The Grape Cure"

Copyright © 2014 Healing Cancer Naturally

While "The Grape Cure"[1] (written by Johanna Brandt many decades ago after she healed herself of what apparently was stomach cancer) to this day has met with much enthusiastic praise (as well as the usual detractors insisting it lacked all scientific foundation), we meanwhile have a growing body of scholarly evidence that resveratrol, grape seed as well as the natural resveratrol derivative pterostilbene - all of which abundantly occur in grapes - possess potent cancer-preventative and curative properties.

A search of the PubMed MEDLINE database of biomedical and related fields studies[2] yields many pertinent results regarding the cancer-fighting effect of these and other compounds found in grapes. A small selection (of many more available) is listed in the following.[3]

Resveratrol: fighting and preventing malignant tumors

Role of resveratrol in prevention and therapy of cancer: preclinical and clinical studies

Published in "Anticancer Research" (2004), the above study concluded that "resveratrol appears to exhibit therapeutic effects against cancer. Limited data in humans have revealed that resveratrol is pharmacologically quite safe. Currently, structural analogues of resveratrol with improved bioavailability are being pursued as potential therapeutic agents for cancer."

Resveratrol as a chemopreventive agent: a promising molecule for fighting cancer

Published in "Current Drug Targets" (2006), the above study concluded that "[n]umerous studies have reported interesting properties of trans-resveratrol as a preventive agent against important pathologies i.e. ...cancers...several epidemiological studies have revealed that resveratrol is probably one of the main microcomponents of wine responsible for its health benefits such as prevention of ... cancer. Resveratrol acts on the process of carcinogenesis by affecting the three phases: tumor initiation, promotion and progression phases and suppresses the final steps of carcinogenesis, i.e. angiogenesis and metastasis. It is also able to activate apoptosis, to arrest the cell cycle or to inhibit kinase pathways. "

Resveratrol confers resistance against taxol via induction of cell cycle arrest in human cancer cell lines

Published in "Molecular Nutrition Food Research" (2010), the above study found that "Resveratrol, which is highly concentrated in the skin of grapes and is abundant in red wine, has been demonstrated to account for several beneficial properties, including antioxidant, anticoagulant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects."

Anticancer activity of resveratrol on implanted human primary gastric carcinoma cells in nude mice

Published in the "World Journal of Gastroenterology" in 2005, this study concluded that "Resveratrol is able to induce apoptosis of transplanted tumor cells." It can be read in its entirety at .

The cancer-preventative agent resveratrol is converted to the anticancer agent piceatannol by the cytochrome P450 enzyme CYP1B1.

Published in the "British Journal of Cancer" (2002), this study's abstract states that "...the cancer preventative agent resveratrol undergoes metabolism by the cytochrome P450 enzyme CYP1B1 to give a metabolite which has been identified as the knownantileukaemic agent piceatannol. ... This observation provides a novel explanation for the cancer preventative properties of resveratrol... a natural dietary cancer preventative agent can be converted to a compound with known anticancer activity by an enzyme that is found in human tumours."

This study is available in its entirety at .

Potential anticancer properties of grape antioxidants.

Published in the Journal of Oncology (2012).

From the abstract: "The use of grape antioxidants is promising against a broad range of cancer cells ... resulting in cell cycle arrest and apoptosis... evidence from human clinical trials has demonstrated that consumption of grape, wine and grape juice exerts many ... possible anti-cancer effects."
Full text available at .

Cancer chemopreventive activity of resveratrol, a natural product derived from grapes

Published in "Science" (1997), this study's abstract states that "Resveratrol, ... found in grapes and other food products, was ... shown to have cancer chemopreventive activity in assays representing three major stages of carcinogenesis."
The entire study can be read for free (after registration) at .

Resveratrol exhibits cytostatic and antiestrogenic properties with human endometrial adenocarcinoma (Ishikawa) cells

Published in "Cancer Research" (2001).

Antitumor and immunomodulatory activity of resveratrol on experimentally implanted tumor of H22 in Balb/c mice.

Published in "World Journal of Gastroenterology", 2003, with the free full text available at .

Anti-tumor and immunomodulatory activity of resveratrol in vitro and its potential for combining with cancer immunotherapy

Originally printed in "International Immunopharmacology" (2011), the free full text of this study is available at .

Pterostilbene: fighting and preventing malignancy

Pterostilbene exerts antitumor activity via the Notch1 signaling pathway in human lung adenocarcinoma cells.

Published in PLoS One, 2013. From the abstract: "... pterostilbene (PTE) has been shown to have potent antitumor activities against various cancer types".

Pterostilbene inhibited tumor invasion via suppressing multiple signal transduction pathways in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells.

(published in "Carcinogenesis", 2009), quote: "... pterostilbene is a novel, effective, anti-metastatic agent..."

Pterostilbene exerts antitumor activity against human osteosarcoma cells by inhibiting the JAK2/STAT3 signaling pathway.

(Printed in "Toxicology", 2013):

"...Pterostilbene is a potent inhibitor of osteosarcoma cell growth..."

Dietary intake of pterostilbene, a constituent of blueberries, inhibits the beta-catenin/p65 downstream signaling pathway and colon carcinogenesis in rats.

Published in "Carcinogenesis" (2010), the researchers of this study concluded that "Our data with pterostilbene in suppressing colon tumorigenesis, cell proliferation as well as key inflammatory markers in vivo and in vitro suggest the potential use of pterostilbene for colon cancer prevention."
This study can be read in its entirety at .

Inhibition of human recombinant cytochromes P450 CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 by trans-resveratrol methyl ethers.

Published in "Molecular Nutrition and Food Research" in 2007, this study demonstrated a potential mechanism for pterostilbene's (and other resveratrol analogs') observed anti-cancer effect on mouse cells: inhibition of cytochrome P450.

Pterostilbene acts through metastasis-associated protein 1 to inhibit tumor growth, progression and metastasis in prostate cancer.

The above study published in 2013 concludes that "Our strong pre-clinical data indicate pterostilbene as a potent, selective and pharmacologically safe natural product that may be tested in advanced prostate cancer."

Biological/chemopreventive activity of stilbenes and their effect on colon cancer

(Printed in "Planta Medica", 2008)
"This review summarizes results related to the potential use of various stilbenes as cancer chemopreventive agents, their mechanisms of action, as well as their pharmacokinetics and efficacy for the prevention of colon cancer in animals and humans."

Anti-inflammatory action of pterostilbene is mediated through the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway in colon cancer cells.

Published in "Cancer Prevention Research" (Philadelphia), 2009

Grape seed extract (GSE): fighting and preventing cancer

Grape seed extract inhibits in vitro and in vivo growth of human colorectal carcinoma cells.

Printed in "Clinical Cancer Research" (2006), the above study investigated the anticancer effects of grape seed extract (GSE) against colorectal cancer. Among other results, it was found that GSE caused a significant inhibition of cell growth and that it may be an effective chemopreventive agent against colorectal cancer. This study can be read in its entirety at and .

Supplement use and risk of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer)

Printed in the "Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology" (2011), this study found that grape seed extract users had a significantly decreased (by 74%) risk of developing cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (the other supplements assessed were multivitamins as well as vitamins A, C, D, and E).

This examination of the possible association between supplement use and squamous cell carcinoma risk (the second most common skin cancer) can be read in its entirety at

Grape seed extract inhibits the growth of prostate cancer PC-3 cells

This study (published in Chinese in Zhonghua Nan Ke Xue [National Journal of Andrology], 2008) concludes that "Grape seed extract inhibits the growth of prostate cancer PC-3 cells and can be used as a new drug for the treatment of prostate cancer."

Specialty supplements and prostate cancer risk in the VITamins and Lifestyle (VITAL) cohort.

Published in Nutrition and Cancer, 2011, this long-term study on 35,239 men who were observed over many years arrived at the conclusion that "any use of grapeseed supplements was associated with [an average] 41% ...reduced risk of total prostate cancer." Those who used a grape seed extract supplement with "high average use" over ten years, even experienced a 62% reduction in prostate cancer risk

The other supplements assessed in this study (chondroitin, coenzyme Q10, fish oil, garlic, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, glucosamine, saw palmetto) showed no benefits in terms of prostate cancer risk reduction.

(Study available in its entirety at

Grape seed extract induces anoikis and caspase-mediated apoptosis in human prostate carcinoma LNCaP cells: possible role of ataxia telangiectasia mutated-p53 activation

Published in "Molecular Cancer Therapeutics" (2006), the free full text of this study is available at .

Antiproliferative and Apoptotic Effects Triggered by Grape Seed Extract (GSE) versus Epigallocatechin and Procyanidins on Colon Cancer Cell Lines

Published in the "International Journal of Molecular Sciences", 2012.

Miscellaneous grape compounds against cancer

Proanthocyanidins: oligomeric structures with unique biochemical properties and great therapeutic promise.

Published in Natural Product Communications in 2012, this study inter alia found proanthocyanidins to have antioxidant, chemopreventive (= preventing or slowing the development of cancer), anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic effects.

Anticancer effects of oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC) on human colorectal cancer cell line, SNU-C4.

Grape seed extract as well as grape skins and red grapes are rich sources of oligomeric proanthocyanidins (natural polyphenolic compounds). Published in the "World Journal of Gastroenterology" in 2005, this study investigated whether the anti-cancer effects of oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC) were induced by apoptosis on human colorectal cancer cell line, SNU-C4 and found that the cytotoxic effect of OPC on these cells appeared in a dose-dependent manner.

Free full text of this study available at .

Novel oligomeric proanthocyanidin derivatives interact with membrane androgen sites and induce regression of hormone-independent prostate cancer.

Published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics in 2011, the free full text of this study is available at .

Searching for the terms oligomeric+proanthocyanidins+cancer yields many more in-vitro studies on OPC's anti-cancer effects.

"Chemicals in Grapes Work Together to Kill Cancer"

Published in the "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry" (2005).

Elvira Gonzalez de Mejia (assistant professor at the University of Illinois' food science and nutrition department) and her research team have identified ten previously unknown flavonoid compounds in grapes. For best therapeutic effect, these have to be applied in tandem (as found in whole grapes).


Most research efforts appear to be directed at patentable (= profitable) substances which seems to be the main reason why simple "nature cures" generally do not receive much scientific attention. It seems likely that for all natural cancer healing approaches and modalities there are actually valid "scientific reasons" waiting to be discovered, and it is to be hoped that more and more researchers will be devoting attention to this area in spite of natural non-patentable cures not allowing huge profits to be made. One such forthright scientist and cancer researcher who vigourously defended vilified nature cures for malignancies was Prof. Dr. Dr. Paul G. Seeger who substantiated and endorsed Maria Treben's "miracle" herbal cancer cures.


1 Compare General Introduction to the Grape Cancer Cure.

2 maintained by the US National Library of Medicine at the NIH (National Institutes of Health)

3 Some of these studies involve animal experimentation which Healing Cancer Naturally does not endorse. For the reasons see Cancer Research, Toxicity Testing & Animal Experimentation: an Unholy Union?.

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