broccoli and cauflowerImportant New Research On Phytochemicals For Cancer Risk Reduction and Women’s Health.

Sulforaphane, a compound derived from broccoli and broccoli sprouts, could help prevent or treat breast cancer by inhibiting Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs), found a new study. Researchers believe that eliminating the CSCs is key to controlling cancer and in findings published in Clinical Cancer Research they found that sulforaphane targeted and killed the cancer stem cells and prevented new tumours from growing.

Recent studies indicate that CSCs have the capacity to drive tumour resistance and relapse/recurrence of cancer, with evidence building for the theory that a variety of cancers are driven and sustained by a small proportion of CSCs.

According to the American Cancer Society, 94,280 Americans will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and 40,610 will die from the disease.The researchers argue that a lack of efficacy of current chemotherapies in advance and metastatic disease now requires new approaches to specifically target CSC populations.

The anticancer efficacy of Sulforaphane (derived from broccoli and broccoli sprouts) has been evaluated in various cancers and the risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer was shown to be inversely associated with broccoli consumption, they added.

Furthermore, as a chemoprevention agent, Sulforaphane possesses many advantages, such as high bioavailability and low toxicity. “Sulforaphane from broccoli extracts is efficiently and rapidly absorbed in the human small intestine and distributed throughout the body,” said the authors.

Previous studies, said the researchers, provide a strong rationale for investigating the chemoprevention property of Sulforaphane in clinical trials, and the authors said that its chemoprevention properties against cancer are through both ‘blocking’ and ‘suppressing’ effects.

The concentrations of Sulforaphane used in the study were higher than what can be achieved by eating broccoli or broccoli sprouts, said the team, and they added that prior research suggests the concentrations needed to impact cancer can be absorbed by the body from the broccoli extract, but side effects are not known.

“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 the research oncology experts of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The researchers found that sulforaphane (1-5 μmol/L) decreased aldehyde dehydrogenase-positive cell population by 65 per cent to 80 per cent in human breast cancer cells and reduced the size and number of primary mammospheres by 8- to 125-fold and 45 per cent to 75 per cent, respectively.Daily injection with 50 mg/kg sulforaphane for two weeks reduced aldehyde dehydrogenase-positive cells by >50 per cent in nonobese diabetic and severe combined immunodeficient xenograft tumours, they found.

And, the researchers added that sulforaphane eliminated breast

CSCs in vivo, thereby abrogating tumour growth after the re-implantation of primary tumour cells into the secondary subjects, they added.

The researchers noted treatment with sulforaphane had little effect on the normal cells.

Source: Clinical Cancer Research (Published online)

Title: Sulforaphane, a Dietary Component of Broccoli/Broccoli Sprouts, Inhibits Breast Cancer Stem Cells

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