In 2015, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center received an anonymous $20 million donation to study the effects of a proprietary muscadine grape extract (MGE) on prostate and breast cancers. The gift is the largest ever received by the Medical Center. The 5-year research study involves 26 faculty members from multiple disciplines, including hypertension and vascular research, hematology and oncology, cancer biology, urology, radiology, public health sciences, radiation biology and pathology.
This five-year gift funded three clinical trials: a Phase I trial to determine 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. In addition, the gift supported preclinical studies (animal models) on the treatment of breast cancer with MGE; preclinical studies to determine the molecular mechanisms for the 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 more.
The specific type of MGE being studied by Wake Forest Baptist scientists is a new formulation not commercially available that was developed by Piedmont Research Corp. of Advance, North Carolina. Original news release
Watch for some of the results now coming out of this work, as well as for some animal model research conducted at Wake Forest before the start of this large project.