ROME (Reuters Life!) - A glass of wine a day may help breast cancer patients better tolerate radiation therapy and reduce its adverse effects, according to a new study by an Italian medical university.
The study, released on Wednesday, said polyphenols found in wine may help protect healthy tissues from the effects of radiation while combating cancerous cells.
The research was carried out on 348 women treated for breast cancer between 2003 and 2007 at the radiotherapy and palliative care unit of the Catholic University of Campobasso.
The study at the southern university showed that moderate daily consumption of wine was associated with a 75 percent reduction of skin lesions compared to those who did not drink wine.
"Our data are to be taken with caution as our study was an observational one," said Alessio Morganti, director of the radiotherapy unit.
"A formal randomized trial should now be performed. Establishing the role of wine and its non-alcoholic components is certainly a crucial issue that may open a new way for the preventive use of antioxidants," he said.
The full study is due to be published online in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics (www.redjournal.org).
Editing by Paul Casciato