An international team of researchers sought to determine if the natural antioxidants in wine would provide a radioprotective effect in preventing acute skin toxicity in patients undergoing radiation therapy after conservative surgery for breast carcinoma.
They studied 348 patients and found that patients consuming wine had a lower incidence of Grade 2 or higher acute toxicity than those who did not consume alcohol.
Those who drank one glass of wine per day had a 13.6 percent incidence of skin toxicity versus a 38.4 percent incidence in patients who did not drink wine.
"If wine can prevent radiotherapy-induced toxicity without affecting antitumor efficacy, as we observed, it also has the potential to enhance the therapeutic benefit in cancer patients without increasing their risk of serious adverse effects," Dr Vincenzo Valentini, a radiation oncologist at Catholic University in Rome, Italy, one of the study authors, said.
"The possibility that particular dietary practices or interventions can reduce radiation-induced toxicity is very intriguing," Valentini added.
The findings appear in International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics.