Resveratrol imparts photoprotection of normal cells and enhances the efficacy of radiation therapy in cancer cells.
Photochem Photobiol. 2008 Mar-Apr;84(2):415-21. Epub 2008 Jan 23. PMID: 18221451
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.