Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has announced a five-year, $20 million gift from an anonymous donor to study the effects of antioxidant muscadine grape extract on prostate and breast cancer.
The gift will fund a multidisciplinary study of the extract — a rich source of polyphenols, a potent antioxidant — that brings together investigators in hypertension and vascular research, hematology and oncology, cancer biology, public health sciences, radiation biology, pathology, and other fields. The study will include a Phase I trial to determine the toxicity of the extract in patients with solid tumors, and two Phase II trials, one in men with prostate cancer and one in women with triple negative breast cancer, to determine the effect of the extract on reducing metastatic growth and on quality-of-life issues.
The gift also will support a preclinical study of the effects of the extract in the treatment of breast cancer; preclinical studies to determine the molecular mechanisms for reductions in tumor growth; the effect of co-administration of the extract with radiation and chemotherapeutics commonly used to treat breast and prostate cancer; and the effect of the extract on co-morbidities, which are often present in patients with prostate and breast cancer.
"A gift of this magnitude can dramatically accelerate the pace of this promising research," said Edward Abraham, dean of the Wake Forest School of Medicine. "We are more likely to see clinical trials in place much sooner because of this investment, and any potential benefits that may be identified would be passed along to patients sooner than would otherwise be possible."