Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Anti-cancer compound found to block late-stage breast-cancer cell growth

01.09.2004


A well known anti-cancer agent in certain vegetables has just had its reputation enhanced. The compound, in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, has been found to be effective in disrupting late stages of cell growth in breast cancer.



Keith Singletary and doctoral student Steven Jackson of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign report their finding involving sulforaphane (SUL), which they say could ultimately be used to enhance the prevention and treatment of breast cancer, in the September issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

“This is the first report to show how the naturally occurring plant chemical sulforaphane can block late stages of the cancer process by disrupting components of the cell called microtubules,” said Singletary, a professor in the department of food science and human nutrition. “We were surprised and pleased to find that SUL could block the growth of breast cells that were already cancerous.”


SUL is abundant in such vegetables as broccoli, brussels sprouts and kale. Chewing causes the cell walls of these vegetables to break, and SUL is released into the body.

Singletary, a researcher in phytochemicals and cancer chemoprevention, and Jackson exposed cultures of malignant human breast cancer cells to SUL. Within hours, SUL blocked cell division and disrupted microtubules, which are long, slender cylinders made up of tubulin (protein), that are essential for the separation of duplicated chromosomes during cell division.

“It is not yet clear whether the doses required to produce inhibition of tubulin polymerization are higher than those achievable via dietary intakes,” wrote Jackson and Singletary. “However, the results show that tubulin disruption may be an important explanation for SUL’s antiproliferative action.” “These findings are significant since SUL’s actions appear similar to a group of anticancer drugs currently in use, such as Taxol,” Singletary said.

SUL is studied extensively for its effects against cancer. Previous reports have shown that SUL induces defensive mechanisms that are effective in protecting normal cells from the initiation of cancer. “More than 10 years ago, researchers at Johns Hopkins University reported that SUL is a potent inducer of enzyme systems that can defend against carcinogens,” Singletary said. Such defense mechanisms are effective during the early stage of cancer.

The Illinois research extends the 1992 discovery at Johns Hopkins and pinpoints how SUL works during later stages of cancer, such that SUL can suppress the orderly division process in human breast cancer cells. “The findings may be helpful in the development of new breast cancer prevention and treatment strategies,” Singletary said. “For example, it may be possible that ingesting SUL in combination with certain natural compounds or drugs could enhance their anticancer effectiveness and reduce side effects.”

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer this year will account for 15 percent of all cancer deaths in women, and approximately 275,000 new breast cancer cases of various forms will be diagnosed.

Improvements in treatments such as chemotherapy have led to an 88 percent survival rate in Caucasian women and a 74 percent survival rate in African-American women, according to the most recent ACS survey in 2003.

However, some current chemotherapy drugs have side effects that have the ACS and other organizations seeking new strategies that combine chemotherapy drugs with other treatments to potentially lessen the toxic effects.

The new Illinois study confirms a previous study in mice. In the February 2004 issue of the journal Carcinogenesis, Singletary and Jackson reported that SUL treatments in mice with implanted cancer cells resulted in decreased tumor size.

More research is needed to assess SUL’s potential in countering breast cancer development, Singletary said. “What we do not know is how specific SUL and other similar phytochemicals are toward cancer cells compared to normal cells,” he said. “We also do not know against which cancers SUL’s microtubule-targeting actions are most effective.”

Future studies in Singletary’s lab will address those issues. The University of Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station and the U.S. Department of Agriculture funded the research.

Molly McElroy | University of Illinois
Further information:
http://www.uiuc.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Colorectal cancer: Increased life expectancy thanks to individualised therapies
20.02.2020 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Sweet beaks: What Galapagos finches and marine bacteria have in common
20.02.2020 | Max-Planck-Institut für Marine Mikrobiologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A step towards controlling spin-dependent petahertz electronics by material defects

The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.

Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...

Im Focus: Freiburg researcher investigate the origins of surface texture

Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.

Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...

Im Focus: Skyrmions like it hot: Spin structures are controllable even at high temperatures

Investigation of the temperature dependence of the skyrmion Hall effect reveals further insights into possible new data storage devices

The joint research project of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that had previously demonstrated...

Im Focus: Making the internet more energy efficient through systemic optimization

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, recently completed a 5-year research project looking at how to make fibre optic communications systems more energy efficient. Among their proposals are smart, error-correcting data chip circuits, which they refined to be 10 times less energy consumptive. The project has yielded several scientific articles, in publications including Nature Communications.

Streaming films and music, scrolling through social media, and using cloud-based storage services are everyday activities now.

Im Focus: New synthesis methods enhance 3D chemical space for drug discovery

After helping develop a new approach for organic synthesis -- carbon-hydrogen functionalization -- scientists at Emory University are now showing how this approach may apply to drug discovery. Nature Catalysis published their most recent work -- a streamlined process for making a three-dimensional scaffold of keen interest to the pharmaceutical industry.

"Our tools open up whole new chemical space for potential drug targets," says Huw Davies, Emory professor of organic chemistry and senior author of the paper.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Around 70 Laureates set to meet with young scientists from approx. 100 countries

12.02.2020 | Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Active droplets

21.02.2020 | Medical Engineering

Finding new clues to brain cancer treatment

21.02.2020 | Health and Medicine

Beyond the brim, Sombrero Galaxy's halo suggests turbulent past

21.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>