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Broccoli May Help Fight Cancer WebMD 3/11/2011
March 11, 2011 -- Broccoli may help fight cancer by blocking a defective gene associated with tumor growth, according to new research.
WebMD Health News Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MDBy Jennifer WarnerStudy Shows Compound in Broccoli May Block Defective Gene Linked to Tumor GrowthBroccoli May Help Fight Cancer Growth
Researchers say if further studies confirm these findings, it could lead to new therapies for preventing and treating cancer.
The results showed that ITCs were capable of removing the defective p53 gene while leaving healthy versions of the gene alone.
In a report published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, researcher Xiantao Wang of Georgetown University and colleagues analyzed the effects of ITCs on gene p53 in a variety of human cancer cells, including lung, breast, and colon cancer, in the lab.
Gene p53 is known as a tumor suppressor gene and appears to play a critical role in keeping cells healthy and protecting them from cancer. When this gene is damaged or mutated, it stops offering this protection. Researchers say these mutations are found in about half of all human cancers.
In a new study, researchers found compounds in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables called isothiocyanates (ITCs) appear to target and block mutant p53 genes associated with cancer growth.
Previous studies have heralded the potential cancer-fighting ability of broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower and watercress. But researchers say until now they didn't know the secret behind the vegetables' anticancer attributes.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 06 April 2011 12:18)