Broccoli could hold the key to preventing and even treating breast cancer, claim scientists.
A chemical found in the vegetable superfood targets the cells that fuel the growth of tumours. Broccoli contains high levels of sulforaphane which can kill these cancer stem cells and prevent the disease from developing, or spreading when it is established.
U.S. scientists at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Centre completed successful laboratory tests on mice and cell cultures. Study author Professor Duxin Sun said: 'Sulforaphane has been studied previously for its effects on cancer, but this study shows that its benefit is in inhibiting the breast cancer stem cells. This new insight suggests the potential of sulforaphane or broccoli extract to prevent or treat cancer by targeting the critical cancer stem cells.'
A report on the findings is published in the Clinical Cancer Research journal.