Brocoli lowers cancer stem cells

Dr. Weeks’ Comment: Once again, food and lifestyle factors trumps medicine.  Chemotherapy and radiation make cancer worse (according to Professor Max Wicha, M.D.)  unless accompanied by lifestyle enhancing agents: diet (see below) exercise (to oxygenate blood and lower inflammatory cytokines like IL-6) are essential for anyone being subjected to conventional cancer treatments. 


Sulforaphane  as a new therapeutic agent for targeting of cancer stem cells with focus to prostate and pancreatic cancer. 

by Ingrid Kerr and Vanessa Rauch

Especially glucosinolates and derived indoles and isothiocyanates from cruciferous vegetables are known to possess several therapeutic activities towards inflammation, viral and bacterial infection and malignant tumors. Sulforaphane is an isothiocyanate  present in high concentration in broccoli and cauliflower. Sulforaphane does not only target some more differentiated tumor cell population but also highly aggressive and therapy resistant cells with stem cell character.”


Future Oncol. 2013 Aug;9(8):1097-103. doi: 10.2217/fon.13.108.

Targeting cancer stem cells with sulforaphane, a dietary component from broccoli and broccoli sprouts.

Li Y1, Zhang T.



Many studies have supported the protective effects of broccoli and broccoli sprouts against cancer. The chemopreventive properties of sulforaphane, which is derived from the principal glucosinolate of broccoli and broccoli sprouts, have been extensively studied. Recent research into the effects of sulforaphane on cancer stem cells (CSCs) has drawn lots of interest. CSCs are suggested to be responsible for initiating and maintaining cancer, and to contribute to recurrence and drug resistance. A number of studies have indicated that sulforaphane may target CSCs in different types of cancer through modulation of NF-κB, SHH, epithelial-mesenchymal transition and Wnt/β-catenin pathways. Combination therapy with sulforaphane and chemotherapy in preclinical settings has shown promising results. In this article, we focus on the effects of sulforaphane on CSCs and self-renewal pathways, as well as giving a brief review of recent human studies using broccoli sprout preparations.

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