The extract suppresses cancer cell growth and kills half of all stage IV colorectal cells, researchers from the University of Colorado Cancer Centre have discovered.
Their discovery is a major breakthrough in the treatment of colorectal cancer. The cancer is hard to treat using chemotherapy, usually because it is detected only at an advanced stage. By stage IV, usually cancer's final phase before death, colorectal cancer cells are resistant to chemotherapy because of genetic mutation; it's reckoned that a colorectal cancer cell has more than 11,000 mutations that differentiate it from a healthy cell.
But the bioactive compounds in grape seed extract target multiple mutations, and so can be much more effective than chemotherapy.
The researchers think that the extract could also be used as an alternative on other cancers as well.
(Source: Cancer Letters, published online ahead of publication, January 21, 2013).