Ovarian cancer is an often fatal disease resulting in over 140,000 deaths a year worldwide. By the time it is diagnosed the tumors are typically large and resistant to conventional chemotherapy drug treatment. One focus of current research is to try and find substances that help prevent damaged, precancerous ovarian cells from developing into malignant tumors.163
Population studies involving thousands of women conducted in Australia, Sweden, and elsewhere show a significant link between moderate wine consumption and decreased risk of ovarian cancer. Although population studies cannot determine the cause of this link, the fact that similar consumption of beer is linked to a trend towards increased risk of ovarian cancer suggests that it could be the antioxidant resveratrol in wine that may be helping to prevent ovarian cancer.163
Both lab and animal studies indicate that resveratrol inhibits cancer cell growth in several ovarian cancer cell lines which are typically stimulated by insulin.164 Recently resveratrol was shown to stop cell growth and induce death of ovarian carcinoma cell lines by promoting self-degradation of the cancer cell structures—a process called autophagocytosis.165
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