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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Scientists discover that broccoli contains a molecule that may be the “Achilles heel” of cancer


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In addition to its many benefits, broccoli could be the key to fighting cancer.

If you still did not have enough reasons to eat your vegetables, this new study says that broccoli contains an incredible ingredient that could be the “Achilles’ heel” of cancer.

Broccoli is part of the family of cruciferous vegetables, which includes cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts which also have these molecules.

And although many people do not like its taste, these vegetables contain a small but powerful molecule that turns off the gene responsible for the growth of cancerous tumors known as WWP1.

Dr. Pier Paolo Pandolfi, lead author of the study and director of the Cancer Center and Cancer Research Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, said the discovery could pave the way for a new cancer treatment.

“The study is really exciting,” Pandolfi told the Harvard Gazette . “I’ve been bombarded by journalists, because of the connection with broccoli, let’s be honest. Forget what you think about science, the fact that something your grandmother would say is good for you, is attractive. ”

Pandolfi and his team suspected that a gene called PTEN could cause irregularities and defects in WWP1.

In testing their theory about cancer-prone human mice and cells, they discovered that WWP1 produces an enzyme that overcomes the suppressive activity of PTEN tumors, but scientists also found that there is a molecule in cruciferous vegetables called indole-3-carbinol (I3C ) that can re-awaken the anti-cancer properties of PTEN.

That said, the study’s author, Dr. Yu-Ru Lee, emphasized that a person would have to eat almost 2.7 kilograms of uncooked broccoli every day to get their cancer benefits.

That’s why scientists think the discovery could be the key to unlocking “one of the most important tumor suppressors in the history of cancer genetics.”

“This pathway emerges not only as a regulator for the control of tumor growth, but also as an Achilles heel that we can target with therapeutic options,” Pandolfi said. “These findings open the way to a tumor suppressor reactivation approach that has long been sought for the treatment of cancer.”

The team plans to continue its research to discover a more practical way to provide I3C to cancer patients and unleash tumor suppressor properties in PTEN.

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