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Grape Seed Extract Proanthocyanidins Inhibit The Invasiveness of Head and Neck Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cells

Posted on Wednesday, 11 January, 2012 by anthony

Recent research (Sun et al., 2011) indicates that grape seed proanthocyanidins - a significant component of grape seed extract - have the ability to inhibit the invasion of Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). HNSCC is the sixth most common cancer worldwide and has higher death rates than cancers of the colon, breast or melanoma. It affects approximately 40,000 people in the United States and 8,000 people in the UK annually. Most of the deaths are due to HNSCC’s propensity to metastasize (spread from one organ or part of the body to another). The treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma is complex partly due to the constraints of treating the head and neck as well as protecting organ function.

The researchers examined the effect of bioactive component grape seed proanthocyanidins on HNSCC cell invasion and looked at the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects.  They found that treatment with grape seed proanthocyanidins inhibited cell invasion by the cancer cells in a dose dependent manner. The inhibition of the cancer cells by grape seed proanthocyanidins was associated with a reduction in levels of epidermal growth factor receptor. The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling pathway helps to regulate cell growth, survival and proliferation. It is known that epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is overexpressed in many types of cancers and therefore any reduction in levels of epidermal growth factor receptor levels may be beneficial to cancer patients. 

The inhibition of cell invasion by grape seed proanthocyanidins was associated with the inhibition of the phosphorylation of extracellular-signal-regulated kinases (p-ERK) and was associated with the reversal of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process. Previous research suggests that p-ERK plays a critical role in the cell proliferation of malignant disease whilst EMT has been associated with the increased aggressiveness, invasive and metastatic potential of cancer cells.

The researchers concluded that grape seed proanthocyanidins have the ability to inhibit the invasion of human Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma by targeting epidermal growth factor receptor expression and reversing the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition process. The researchers stated: “These data suggest that GSPs can be developed as a complementary and alternative medicine for the prevention of invasion/metastasis of HNSCC cells.”

Grape seed Extract proanthocyanidins & HNSCC Summary:

  • Grape seed proanthocyanidins (GSPs) inhibited cell invasion by cancer cells in a dose dependent manner
  • Inhibition of cancer cells by GSPs was associated with a reduction of epidermal growth factor receptor
  • The Inhibition of cell invasion by GSPs was associated with the inhibition of the phosphorylation of extracellular-signal-regulated kinases
  • The inhibition was also associated with the reversal of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process

References:

Sun Q, Prasad R, Rosenthal E and Katiyar S K (2011) Grape seed proanthocyanidins inhibit the invasive potential of head and neck cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma cells by targeting EGFR expression and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2011, 11:134

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