Recent research indicates that colorectal cancer tumors contain cancer stem cells (CSCs). Found in other types of solid tumors (e.g., breast, brain, lung, ovary, pancreas, prostate, and thyroid cancers) as well, these stubborn cancer cells are difficult to eradicate. Results from lab and animal studies indicate that resveratrol may very well be the balancing factor that tilts the scale in favor of beating back CSCs.199

How Does It Work?

CSCs can renew themselves without limits and express proteins that help them avoid apoptosis (cell death). This makes CSCs and the tumors they are part of resistant to conventional chemotherapy drug therapies.199 One area of cancer research is focused on identifying substances (such as resveratrol) that can neutralize CSC survival mechanisms.

By stimulating the apoptosis proteins that promote cancer cell death while blocking proteins that attempt to inhibit them the hope is to counteract the mitochondrial dysfunction that allows cancer to thrive. Survivin is one such Inhibitor of Apoptosis Protein (IAP).199 These IAPs function in contradiction to TRAIL proteins, which are produced by the immune system and stimulate the death of cancer cells.149

Evidence of Benefit

In a clinical trial involving 20 people with colorectal cancer, patients took 0.5-1.0 g/day for 8 days prior to surgical removal of tumors. Inflammatory pro-tumor markers were significantly reduced by 33%, with 5.5% reduced tumor cell proliferation—with no serious adverse side effects.32

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