The main findings of the research:
Dr. Goel: I was very pleased that this was the first study of its kind, and we demonstrated a novel and previously unknown mechanism of action by which low molecular weight oligomeric proanthocyanins (OPC) from French Grape Seed Extract VX1 help eradicate colorectal cancer cells. Chemotherapy is good at killing cancer cells, but the reason we so frequently see recurrence is because cancer stem cells are left behind. They become somewhat dormant and “hide” from the chemotherapy, and then after treatment is completed, the reawaken and create a cancer recurrence that often rapidly moves to other parts of the body, a process called metastasis.
In our study, we were the first to show that these low-molecular weight OPCs can eliminate cancer stem cells. They target a unique pathway called HIPPO-YAP, which is required for stem cell survival. We were able to demostrate that OPCs suppress this pathway, and this is something that hanever been shown before.
We also found that OPCs can cause cell cycle arrest and imprison tumor cells in their growth phase, which subsequently leads to cancer cell death. OPCs target specific microRNAs that lead to cancer suppression.
Though these are pre-clinical findings in cultured cells and animal models, these results may hold great promise for people with colorectal cancer, which was the form of cancer we studied. More human research is needed, and I would like to see investigations in other types of cancer as well, because we see similar types of microRNA activity across nearly all kinds of malignancies.
In the meantime, I think using a tannin-free, low molecular weight OPC grape seed extract may provide excellent health benefits. It is a dietary supplement and healthy antioxidant, with an excellent safety profile.