Nutrients in certain vegetables may provide cancer-fighting benefit

April 18, 2007

Chemicals in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, watercress, cabbage and cauliflower, appear to not only stop human prostate cancer cells from growing in mice but also may cut off the formation of blood vessels that "feed" tumors, says a University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute study. The study, abstract number 4200, is being presented today at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, April 14-18, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

"The contribution of diet and nutrition to cancer risk, prevention and treatment has been a major focus of research in recent years because certain nutrients in vegetables and dietary agents appear to protect the body against diseases such as cancer," said Shivendra Singh, Ph.D., lead investigator and professor of pharmacology and urology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "From epidemiologic data, we know that increased consumption of vegetables reduces the risk for certain types of cancer, but now we are beginning to understand the mechanisms by which certain vegetables like broccoli may help our bodies fight cancer and other diseases."

Dr. Singh’s study is based on phytochemicals, called isothiocyanates (ITCs), found in several cruciferous vegetables and generated when vegetables are either cut or chewed. His laboratory has found that phenethyl-ITC, or PEITC, is highly effective in suppressing the growth of human prostate cancer cells at concentrations achievable through dietary intake.

The current study follows previous research in which Dr. Singh’s laboratory found that mice grafted with human prostate tumors that received a small amount of PEITC daily for 31 days had significantly reduced tumor size when compared to a control group of mice. Now the researchers have shown that treating cells in culture with PEITC inhibits angiogenesis, a process that plays an important role in the growth and spread of cancer by forming new blood vessels that pass oxygen and nutrients to tumor cells.

"Angiogenesis is a major issue in cancer metastases," said Dr. Singh. "Our results provide promising preliminary evidence that constituents of many edible cruciferous vegetables may slow down, or even halt, this process."

Source: University of Pittsburgh

Explore further: Certain iron supplements may influence the development of colon cancer

Related Stories

Certain iron supplements may influence the development of colon cancer

April 12, 2018
Two common iron compounds increase the formation of a known biomarker for cancer, according to a new study of cancer cells from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. The two compounds, ferric citrate and ferric EDTA, ...

Diet may influence the spread of a deadly type of breast cancer, study finds

February 7, 2018
A single protein building block commonly found in food may hold a key to preventing the spread of an often-deadly type of breast cancer, according to a new multicenter study published today in the medical journal Nature.

Personalised nutrition to serve up a healthy life with a side of living longer

February 8, 2018
A new tool that uses molecular clues to determine what someone has eaten and a better understanding of how genes affect the way we break down food could pave the way for personalised dietary advice that not only helps people ...

Unusual combination therapy shows promise for preventing prostate cancer, researchers find

September 17, 2013
Combining a compound from broccoli with an antimalarial drug prevents prostate cancer in mice, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) researchers discovered.

Cancer from fetal exposure to carcinogens depends on dose, timing

December 15, 2011
The cancer-causing potential of fetal exposure to carcinogens can vary substantially, a recent study suggests, causing different types of problems much later in life depending on the stage of pregnancy when the fetus is exposed.

Broccoli sprout extract promising for head and neck cancer prevention

April 20, 2015
Broccoli sprout extract protects against oral cancer in mice and proved tolerable in a small group of healthy human volunteers, the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), partner with UPMC CancerCenter, announced ...

Recommended for you

Single-cell study in a childhood brain tumor affirms the importance of context

April 20, 2018
In defining the cellular context of diffuse midline gliomas, researchers find the cells fueling their growth and suggest a potential approach to treating them: forcing their cells to be more mature.

Aggressive breast cancer already has resistant tumour cells prior to chemotherapy

April 20, 2018
Difficult to treat and aggressive "triple-negative" breast cancer is chemoresistant even before chemotherapy begins, a new study by researchers from Karolinska Institutet and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center ...

Mechanism that drives development of liver cancer brought on by non-alcoholic fatty liver disease discovered

April 19, 2018
A team of researchers from several institutions in China has found a mechanism that appears to drive the development of a type of liver cancer not caused by alcohol consumption. In their paper published in the journal Science ...

Discovery adds to evidence that some children are predisposed to develop leukemia

April 19, 2018
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital researchers have made a discovery that expands the list of genes to include when screening individuals for possible increased susceptibility to childhood leukemia. The finding is reported ...

Chip-based blood test for multiple myeloma could make bone biopsies a relic of the past

April 19, 2018
The diagnosis and treatment of multiple myeloma, a cancer affecting plasma cells, traditionally forces patients to suffer through a painful bone biopsy. During that procedure, doctors insert a bone-biopsy needle through an ...

Scientists identify 170 potential lung cancer drug targets using unique cellular library

April 19, 2018
After testing more than 200,000 chemical compounds, UT Southwestern's Simmons Cancer Center researchers have identified 170 chemicals that are potential candidates for development into drug therapies for lung cancer.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.