Anti-cancer effects of broccoli ingredient explained

Jul 13, 2010

Light has been cast on the interaction between broccoli consumption and reduced prostate cancer risk. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Molecular Cancer have found that sulforaphane, a chemical found in broccoli, interacts with cells lacking a gene called PTEN to reduce the chances of prostate cancer developing.

Richard Mithen, from the Institute of Food Research, an institute of BBSRC, worked with a team of researchers on Norwich Research Park, UK, to carry out a series of experiments in human prostate tissue and mouse models of to investigate the interactions between expression of the PTEN gene and the anti-cancer activity of sulforaphane.

He said, "PTEN is a tumour suppressor gene, the deletion or inactivation of which can initiate prostate , and enhance the probability of . We've shown here that sulforaphane has different effects depending on whether the PTEN gene is present".

The research team found that in cells which express PTEN, dietary intervention with SF has no effect on the development of cancer. In cells that don't express the gene, however, sulforaphane causes them to become less competitive, providing an explanation of how consuming broccoli can reduce the risk of prostate cancer incidence and progression. According to Mithen, "This also suggests potential therapeutic applications of sulforaphane and related compounds".

Explore further: AstraZeneca cancer drug, companion test approved

More information: The dietary isothiocyanate sulforaphane modulates gene expression and alternative gene splicing in a PTEN null preclinical murine model of prostate cancer, Maria H. Traka, Caroline A. Spinks, Joanne F. Doleman, Antonietta Melchini, Richard Y. Ball, Robert D. Mills and Richard F. Mithen, Molecular Cancer (in press), www.molecular-cancer.com/

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New technology aids in prostate cancer treatment

May 12, 2010

Researchers at Queen's University have developed a new way of performing lab tests that could improve the way doctors manage prostate cancer treatment. It will allow them to identify with unprecedented accuracy losses of ...

Preventing prostate cancer the complex way

Feb 03, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Blocking a specific protein complex prevents the formation of tumors in mice genetically predisposed to develop prostate cancer, researchers at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research ...

Broccoli component limits breast cancer stem cells

May 03, 2010

A compound derived from broccoli could help prevent or treat breast cancer by targeting cancer stem cells -- the small number of cells that fuel a tumor's growth -- according to a new study from researchers at the University ...

Recommended for you

Putting the brakes on cancer

Dec 19, 2014

A study led by the University of Dundee, in collaboration with researchers at our University, has uncovered an important role played by a tumour suppressor gene, helping scientists to better understand how ...

Peanut component linked to cancer spread

Dec 19, 2014

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that a component of peanuts could encourage the spread and survival of cancer cells in the body.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

kevinrtrs
not rated yet Jul 13, 2010
Just a question or two -
Does cooking[steaming] destroy /reduce the amount of sulforaphane available in the brocolli?
Does raw brocolli have more sulforaphane available?
How long can one keep a brocolli before the sulforaphane disappears?

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.