Tags: leukemia | broccoli | veggie

Vegetable Compound Fights Leukemia

Monday, 17 Dec 2012 12:14 PM

Need another good reason to eat your vegetables? Researchers have identified a natural compound in broccoli and other green leafy vegetables that destroys leukemia cells, potentially offering a new line of defense against the blood disease.
Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, reporting in the Public Library of Science journal PLOS One, said laboratory tests showed that a concentrated form of a compound called sulforaphane found in cruciferous vegetables can reduce the number of acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells.
"Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a type of cancer of the white blood cells common in children," said Daniel Lacorazza, M.D., assistant professor of pathology & immunology at Baylor. "There is about an 80 percent cure rate, but some children don't respond to treatment. For those cases, we are in need of alternative treatments."
Dr. Lacorazza and his colleagues focused on purified sulforaphane, which is believed to have both preventive and therapeutic properties against cancer. Studies have shown that people who eat a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables have a lower risk of some cancers.
For the study, researchers treated human leukemic cells with the compound. The cancer cells died while the healthy cells obtained from healthy donors were unaffected by the substance. Dr. Lacorazza said the compound works by entering the cells and reacting with certain proteins, and could one day be used as a treatment option in combination with current therapies.
"Sulforaphane is a natural product. However, what we used in this study is a concentrated purified form," said Dr. Lacorazza. "So while eating cruciferous vegetables is good for you, it will not have the same effect as what we saw in the lab."

© HealthDay

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A natural compound in broccoli and other green leafy vegetables has been shown to destroy leukemia cells.
Monday, 17 Dec 2012 12:14 PM
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