Thursday, 16 January 2014

Study: Broccoli Component Limits Breast Cancer Stem Cells

Researchers at the University of Michigan have revealed that a compound found in broccoli could help prevent or treat breast cancer through targeting cancer stem cells. These stem cells are responsible for fueling the cancer growth. So, broccoli is not only healthy when you eat but also on the chemical level! Read more about the study in this post.

The study was conducted at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Centre. It revealed that a specific compound found in broccoli could have the ability to target the stem cells of the tumor which could prevent or treat breast cancer.

The researchers tested the compound, sulforaphane, which is found in broccoli and its sprouts, in mice and cell cultures. The finding was that this compound acted in both samples by targeting and killing cancer stem cells and preventing new tumors from growing.  

According to the study author, Duxin Sun, "Sulforaphane has been studied previously for its effects on cancer, but this study shows that its benefit is in inhibiting the breast cancer stem cells. THis new insight suggests the potential of sulforaphane or broccoli extract to prevent or treat cancer by targeting the critical cancer stem cells."

The results of the study will appear in May 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

In the current study, "researchers took mice with breast cancer and injected varying concentrations of sulforaphane from the broccoli extract. Researchers then used several established methods to assess the number of cancer stem cells in the tumors. These measures showed a marked decrease in the cancer stem cell population after treatment with sulforaphane, with little effect on the normal cells. Further, cancer cells from mice treated with sulforaphane were unable to generate new tumors. The researchers then tested sulforaphane on human breast cancer cell cultures in the lab, finding similar decreases in the cancer stem cells."
Current chemotherapies do not work against cancer stem cells, which is why cancer recurs and spreads. Researchers believe that eliminating the cancer stem cells is key to controlling cancer.
"'This research suggests a potential new treatment that could be combined with other compounds to target breast cancer stem cells. Developing treatments that effectively target the cancer stem cell population is essential for improving outcomes,' says study author Max S. Wicha, M.D., Distinguished Professor of Oncology and director of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center."

But keep in mind that the concentrates of the material used are higher than what could be achieved by eating broccoli. 

It is worth knowing that this research has not been tested in patients yet. So it is not recommended yet that patients add the sulforaphane to their diet. The researchers are "currently developing a method to extract and preserve sulforaphane and will be developing a clinical trial to test sulforaphane as a prevention and treatment for breast cancer. No clinical trial is currently available."

The results of the study appear in the May 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

Science Daily:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please include your initials or first name just so we know a bit about you :)....