Plant nutrient `cocktail` can kill breast cancer cells
Washington – A new study has found that a combo of six natural compounds in vegetables, fruits, spices and plant roots killed 100 percent of sample breast cancer cells without toxic side effects on normal cells.
“One of the primary causes of both the recurrence of breast cancer and deaths is a small group of cancer stem cells that evade therapy. These often multi-drug-resistant cells have the ability to generate new tumors, so it is critically important to develop new approaches to more effective and safer treatment or prevention of breast cancer,” Madhwa Raj, Research Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, said.
The research team tested ten known protective chemical nutrients found in foods like broccoli, grapes, apples, tofu, and turmeric root (a spice used in Indian curry) before settling upon six – Curcumin known as tumeric, Isoflavone from soybeans, Indo-3-Carbinol from cruciferous plants, C-phycocyanin from spirulina, Reservatrol from grapes, and Quercetin, a flavonoid present in fruits, vegetables, and tea.
The researchers administered these six at bioavailable levels to both breast cancer and control cells. They tested the compounds individually and in combination. They found that the compounds were ineffective individually.
When combined, though, the super cocktail suppressed breast cancer cell growth by more than 80 percent, inhibited migration and invasion, caused cell cycle arrest, and triggered the process leading to cell death resulting in the death of 100 percent of the breast cancer cells in the sample.
The researchers observed no harmful effects on the control cells. Further analysis also identified several key genes, which could serve as markers to follow the progress of therapy.
The study is published in the Journal of Cancer.