Following a positive blood test for prostate cancer, men are often advised to undergo radiation treatment. However, prostate cancer cells sometimes become resistant to the effects of radiation. Yet a new study indicates that treating these cells with the antioxidant resveratrol may improve their sensitivity to radiation.
For the study, a team of researchers from the Juravinski Cancer Center in Ontario treated a set of radiation-resistant prostate cancer cells with resveratrol before exposing them to a blast of radiation. The results showed that this had a strong impact on the susceptibility of these cells to the effects of radiation.
It wasn't entirely clear from the study how use of resveratrol results in these benefits, but they suggested it appeared to have something to do with a signalling pathway that controls the survival or death of cells.
Resveratrol is the antioxidant that has garnered red wine so much attention over the past few years. Numerous studies have shown that it is a powerful nutrient in supporting good heart health. The new findings suggest that its benefit may be greater than previously thought.
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