The Role of Grape Seed Extract in the Treatment of Chemo/Radiotherapy Induced Toxicity: A Systematic Review of Preclinical Studies

Nutr Cancer. 2015;67(5):730-40. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2015.1029639. Epub 2015 Apr 16.


Grapes are one of the most consumed fruits in the world and are rich in polyphenols. Grape seed proanthocyanidins (GSP) have demonstrated chemopreventive and/or chemotherapeutic effects in various cancer cell cultures and animal models. The clinical efficacy of chemotherapy is often limited by its adverse effects. Several studies show that reactive oxygen species mediate the cardiotoxicity and neurotoxicity induced by various cancer chemotherapeutic agents. This implies that concomitant administration of antioxidants may prevent these adverse effects. The review was carried out in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. An electronic search strategy in Medline and Embase databases was conducted. Of the 41 studies reviewed, 27 studied GSP while the remainder (14) studied grape seed or skin extracts (GSE). All the studies were published in English, except 2 in Chinese. A significant percentage (34%) of the studies we reviewed assessed the effect of GSE or GSP on cardiotoxicity induced by chemotherapy. Doxorubicin was the most common chemotherapeutic drug studied followed by cisplatin. Research studies that assessed the effect of GSE or GSP on radiation treatment accounted for 22% of the articles reviewed. GSE/GSP ameliorates some of the cytotoxic effects on normal cells/tissues induced by chemo/radiotherapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / drug therapy*
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / etiology
  • Grape Seed Extract / therapeutic use*
  • Mice
  • Proanthocyanidins / therapeutic use*
  • Radiation Injuries, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Radiation Injuries, Experimental / etiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Grape Seed Extract
  • Grape Seed Proanthocyanidins
  • Proanthocyanidins