Women who are about to undergo chemotherapy for breast cancer should drink a glass or two of red wine a day, research suggests.
Laboratory tests show an organic compound in the wine called resveratrol can double the effect of the chemotherapy drug rapamycin. Cancer cells often develop resistance to rapamycin, an immunosuppressant which can also slow the growth of cancerous tumours, stop them or make them smaller.
Dr Charis Eng, who led the new US study at the Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, said: "Our findings show that resveratrol seems to mitigate rapamycin-induced drug resistance in breast cancers, at least in the laboratory.
"If these observations hold true in the clinic setting, then enjoying a glass of red wine or eating a bowl of boiled peanuts - which has a higher resveratrol content than red wine - before rapamycin treatment for cancer might be a prudent approach."
She added that their lab study on human breast cancer cell lines found that when rapamycin was used in conjunction with resveratrol, it was twice as effective at killing those cells than using rapamycin alone.