Study: Wine may prevent skin toxicity in breast cancer patients

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Research has revealed that drinking wine could help prevent skin toxicity in women undergoing radiotherapy treatment for breast cancer, according to study data published in the August issue of the International Journal Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics.

Allessio G. Morganti, MD, from the department of oncology at Catholic University in Campobasso, Italy, and colleagues evaluated the potential radioprotective effects of wine .

Given the high cost and side effects of radioprotective agents such as amifostine, many in the radiation oncology community have been focusing on potentially equally effective but less expensive and toxic natural substances.

The researchers studied 348 women and found that more severe skin toxicity was significantly associated with the radiotherapy protocol and median planning target volume.

They found that the incidence of acute toxicity of Grade 2 or greater was higher in patients without alcohol intake by 38.4 percent compared with 22.3 percent. The daily amount of wine ingested also affected the incidence of skin toxicity—38.4 percent in patients who didn’t drink wine, 31.8 percent in patients drinking a half a glass per day, 13.6 percent in patients drinking one glass per day and 35 percent in patents drinking two glasses a day.

According to the researchers, multivariate analysis showed that wine consumption, planning target volume and radiotherapy protocol were all “significantly related” to acute toxicity.

Although the researchers said that wine could have a radioprotective effect, they also noted that more studies are needed to confirm the connection.