The Abrogating effect of alcohol upon VEGF
What makes this interesting in cancer is the anti-angiogenic enhancer and potentiator effect of alcohol in red wine. What it seems to tell us is that alcohol reduces the angiogenic secretions by tumor cells. If it does that, it could both reduce these secretions and make an anti-angiogenesis drug less resistant to tumor cells, making it more effective. A microvascular viability angiogenesis assay has shown the abrogating effect of alcohol upon VEGF, thus shutting down and prevent cancerous tumors by cutting off the formation of new blood vessels needed for tumor growth.
Polyphenols found in red wine are thought to have anti-oxidant and anti-cancer properties. Polyphenols are antioxidant compounds found in the skin and seeds of grapes. When wine is made from these grapes, the alcohol produced by the fermentation process dissolves the polyphenols contained in the skin and seeds. Red wine contains more polyphenols than white wine because the making of white wine requires the removal of the skins after the grapes are crushed, making an anti-angiogenic enhancer and potentiator effect of the alcohol in red wine.
What alcohol does is to reduce the secretion of VEGF by the tumor cells. It is measured in the assay. It's the alcohol itself rather than a particular type of drink. It both reduces VEGF and makes anti-VEGF drugs work better, possibly overcoming tumor resistance to them. Alcohol has a membrane effect, basically puts the cell to sleep so that it doesn't think it requires a blood supply. In the presence of an anti-VEGF drug, you have a lethal 1-2 combination which knocks out the new vessels which are dependent on VEGF for survival.
The arbitrary distinction between commercial therapeutics and nutritional substances has created an unnecessary barrier between conventional therapists and those who practice complimentary care. A growing cadre of physicians is developing expertise in natural product therapeutics in parallel to their traditional training (Journal of Internal Medicine, Volume 264, Number 3, September 2008, pp. 275-287 (13)).