New study concludes: grape seed extract effective for head and neck cancer treatment

head and neck cancer treatment

Recent study shows Grape Seed Extract as effective treatment to kill head and neck cancer cells

A new study published Jan 19, 2011 in the journal Carcinogenesis is showing grape seed extract as an effective treatment in killing head and neck cancer. Moreover, the study conducted by the Agarwal Lab at the University of Colorado shows that healthy cells are not affected as with chemotherapy or radiation treatments:

Grape seed extract effective for head and neck cancer treatment “Cancer cells have a lot of defective pathways and they are very vulnerable if you target those pathways. The same is not true of healthy cells.”

Grape seed extract (GSE) kills head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells [aka, non-melanoma skin cancer], while leaving healthy cells unharmed.

“It’s a rather dramatic effect,” says Rajesh Agarwal, PhD, investigator at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and professor at the Skaggs School of Pharmaceutical Sciences [UC San Diego]. It depends in large part, says Dr. Agarwal, on a healthy cell’s ability to wait out damage.

“Cancer cells are fast-growing cells,” Agarwal says. “Not only that, but they are necessarily fast growing. When conditions exist in which they can’t grow, they die.” Grape seed extract creates these conditions that are unfavorable to growth. Specifically, the paper shows that grape seed extract both:

• Damages cancer cells’ DNA (via increased reactive oxygen species)

• And stops the pathways that allow repair (as seen by decreased levels of the DNA repair molecules Brca1 and Rad51 and DNA repair foci).

“Yet we saw absolutely no toxicity to the mice, themselves,” Agarwal says.

The Agarwal Lab hopes to move in the direction of clinical trials of grape seed extract, potentially as an addition to second-line therapies that target head and neck squamous cell carcinoma that has failed a first treatment.

This work was supported by the R01 grants AT003623 from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and CA91883 from the National Cancer Institute, NIH. read more

Here’s a couple of questions that I’m sure you are asking:

Q1. Do you ingest grape seed extract or apply it to your head/neck?
A: Grape seed extract is to be taken orally

Q2. What is the difference between grape seed extract and grape seed oil?
A. Grape seed extract uses the entire grape and has a “great concentration of vitamin E, flavonoids, linoleic acid, and OPCs. Typically, the commercial opportunity of extracting grape seed constituents has been for chemicals known as polyphenols, including oligomeric proanthocyanidins recognized as antioxidants.”
Grape seed oil-  is not as powerful as grape seed extract and was not included in this recent finding. Grape seed oil however has many health benefits-
It’s a high power antioxidant that is much more powerful than vitamin C.
You can rub the oil on your skin to help improve your tone and erase fine age lines.
Good for your cardiovascular system
Grape seed oil is an excellent healthy choice for cooking oil and also has a higher burning or smoking point than olive oil.

Q3. should I consult my doctor before taking  grape seed extract?
A. YES, but he/she is most likely going to tell you that it is okay to take along with your vitamins (especially with your vitamin C and E.) No studies I have been able to find contain warnings on grape seed extract but still be advised to consult the Doc.

Q4. Where can I purchase grape seed extract?

A. My wife and I have a local GNC store in our mall that we get ours from but you can also get it at Amazon online.  

This study is very promising news for folks hoping to avoid standard orthodox procedures and prefer a natural head and neck cancer treatment that doesn’t kill the good cells. If you have any more questions about grape seed extracts use, e mail us at or leave a comment below.


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