From the blog

Properties in Red Wine Could Help Fight Mesothelioma

Published: October 25, 2016

Combining different types of treatment when it comes to treating mesothelioma is common because of how aggressive the cancer can be. While some treatments do prove to be effective, the overall prognosis of an individual with this asbestos-related cancer remains dim. A recent study done in Korea carefully evaluated the combination of  cisplatin, a common chemotherapy drug for treating mesothelioma, and resveratrol, a polyphenol that comes from the skin of grapes and can be found in red wine.

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer caused by asbestos exposure. The thin, almost invisible asbestos fibers are easily inhaled and can become embedded in the lining of the lungs. The sharp fibers remain trapped in the lung, and over a period of time, the lining and the tissue become inflamed. This inflammation plays a key part in a mesothelioma diagnosis.

Red wine has been to known to have some dietary benefits when consumed on a semi regular basis and in moderation; one being it is anti-inflammatory. The anti-inflammatory properties of resveratrol peaked the interest of scientists and researchers and in 2012, the scientists at Soonchunhyang University in Korea were the first to examine resveratrol’s effects on mesothelioma.   By studying 20 lab mice that  experienced a  decrease in tumor growth after a daily dose of resveratrol for four weeks, scientists were hopeful that this substance could be used in conjunction with another existing treatment to decrease tumor growth and inflammation.

Cisplatin (Platinol) was initially developed as a treatment for testicular, bladder, and ovarian cancer and is typically used in conjunction with other treatments since it has a low response rate on its own. In regards to mesothelioma, Cisplatin is used in combination with the chemotherapy treatment known as Alimta and kills the carcinogenic cells by stopping DNA replication. The scientists and researchers in Korea created a combination treatment of cisplatin and resveratrol and found that it was better at killing resistant cancer cells and induced a natural cell death.

This treatment combination also had an interesting effect on certain mesothelioma cell lines that were more resistant than other cell lines. Instead of the cells dying, these cells broke down into their individual component parts, which is known as autophagy, and began to develop into new cancer cells. Bafilomycin A1 is an antibiotic that treats autophagy, so it was quickly administered to stop the spread of these new cancer cells. Researchers and scientists found that if Bafilomycin A1 was administered beforehand, then the cancer cells became even more susceptible to resveratrol.

The complexity of mesothelioma has made it difficult to find any one exact treatment that will cure mesothelioma.  Immunotherapies, gene therapies, chemotherapy, and radiation have all had profound effects on battling this aggressive cancer; however, combining drug treatments have also proven to be effective and researchers and scientists remain hopeful they are inching closer to the right combination that will have the most positive effect on mesothelioma.


Lee, YJ; Lee, G; Si, SS; Heo, SH; Park CR; Nam HS; Cho, MK; Lee SH  “Cisplatin and resveratrol induce apoptosis and autophagy following oxidative stress in malignant mesothelioma cells,”  Food and Chemical Toxicology (November 2016). [Link]

PR WEB, “Korean Scientists Publish New Research on Red Wine Compound in Mesothelioma Treatment, According to Surviving Mesothelioma,” (October 22, 2016). [Link]

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