Resveratrol Imparts Photoprotection of Normal Cells and Enhances the Efficacy of Radiation Therapy in Cancer Cells

Authors

  • Shannon Reagan-Shaw,

    1. Department of Dermatology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
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  • Hasan Mukhtar,

    1. Department of Dermatology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
    2. University of Wisconsin Paul P. Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center, Madison, WI
    3. Molecular and Environmental Toxicology Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
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  • Nihal Ahmad

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Dermatology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
    2. University of Wisconsin Paul P. Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center, Madison, WI
    3. Molecular and Environmental Toxicology Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
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  • This paper is part of a special issue dedicated to Professor Hasan Mukhtar on the occasion of his 60th birthday.

*Corresponding author email: nahmad@wisc.edu (Nihal Ahmad)

Abstract

Solar radiation spans a whole range of electromagnetic spectrum including UV radiation, which are potentially harmful to normal cells as well as ionizing radiations which are therapeutically beneficial towards the killing of cancer cells. UV radiation is an established cause of a majority of skin cancers as well as precancerous conditions such as actinic keratosis. However, despite efforts to educate people about the use of sunscreens and protective clothing as preventive strategies, the incidence of skin cancer and other skin-related disorders are on the rise. This has generated an enormous interest towards finding alternative approaches for management of UV-mediated damages. Chemoprevention via nontoxic agents, especially botanical antioxidants, is one such approach that is being considered as a plausible strategy for prevention of photodamages including photocarcinogenesis. In this review, we have discussed the photoprotective effects of resveratrol, an antioxidant found in grapes and red wine, against UVB exposure-mediated damages in vitro and in vivo. In addition, we have also discussed studies showing that resveratrol can act as a sensitizer to enhance the therapeutic effects of ionizing radiation against cancer cells. Based on available literature, we suggest that resveratrol may be useful for (1) prevention of UVB-mediated damages including skin cancer and (2) enhancing the response of radiation therapies against hyperproliferative, precancerous and neoplastic conditions.

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