Research & Clinical Trials

Mesothelioma Cells Slowed by Grape-Seed Extracts

Written By:
Sep 12, 2019
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Written By: Tim Povtak,
September 12, 2019
Aglianico grapes

Extracts from two Italian grape varieties showed distinct anti-cancer activity in three different mesothelioma cell lines, according to a recent multicenter study in Naples, Italy.

The in-vitro findings strongly suggest potential of a novel, nonconventional mesothelioma treatment advancement in the future for this aggressive, difficult-to-treat cancer.

Previous laboratory studies have shown a negative impact of grape-seed extracts on breast, colon and skin cancer cells, but this was the first using multiple human mesothelioma cell lines.

“Our study on mesothelioma seems very promising, but it is a preliminary analysis,” Stefania Crispi, scientist at the National Research Council of Italy, told The Mesothelioma Center at “This could represent the first step to the development of future novel drugs.”

Next Test is Animal Models

Crispi said the next step would be studying the extracts in-vivo (mouse models). A positive result there likely would lead to a clinical trial involving humans with mesothelioma.

The Journal of Functional Foods published the study findings in its October 2019 edition.

There has been mounting evidence that grape-derived phytochemicals can inhibit cancerous changes to human cells and exert a cytotoxic effect on tumors.

One earlier study reported that cabernet sauvignon seed extract showed cytotoxicity on colon cancer cells and amplified the efficacy of chemotherapy.

This latest study described the anti-cancer potential of aglianico (red) and falanghina (white) grape seed extracts in mesothelioma cells.

The efficacy was analyzed through apoptotic pathways and the reduction of cancer properties. The data demonstrated that seed extracts induced cell death based on time-dependent and dosage levels.

The study also concluded that cancer-growth inhibition was considerably more effective with seed rather than grape-peel extracts.

Decreasing Viability of Mesothelioma

The falanghina grape-seed extract decreased mesothelioma cell viability by 30% after 24 hours. At the same concentration level, aglianico grape-seed extract decreased viability by 40% during the same time period.

At 48 hours, the viability percentage increased significantly with both varieties of grapes.

Mesothelioma cell migration and invasive ability also were strongly impaired by the seed extracts, although no percentage was provided in the study.

The findings suggest that certain molecules from the grape seeds — a type of alternative medicine — could fight off the cancer or be used in combination with more traditional drugs.

Another Alternative Medicine for Mesothelioma?

Alternative medical options are not uncommon with mesothelioma, which typically has a poor prognosis.

Patients have tried natural medicines that include plant extracts, teas, minerals and vitamins, none of which are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the disease, nor clinically tested.

“The next step to evaluating the real potential of this treatment is to verify its effectiveness in-vivo [mouse models],” Crispi said. “If confirmed, we might really think in terms of long-range, future possibilities.”

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