Substance May Block Cancer Cell Growth

COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 29 (UPI) — A substance produced when eating broccoli and Brussels sprouts may block the growth of cancer cells, U.S. researchers say.

Scientists at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center say study evidence suggests the substance, indole-3-carbinol, known as I3C, may have anti-cancer effects, a university release said Tuesday.


The laboratory study discovered a connection between I3C and a molecule called Cdc25A, which is essential for cell division and proliferation, the release said.

“Cdc25A is present at abnormally high levels in about half of breast cancer cases, and it is associated with a poor prognosis,” says study leader Xianghong Zou, assistant professor of pathology at the Ohio State University Medical Center.

The study, published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, said I3C destroyed the molecule and blocked the growth of breast cancer cells.

The molecule also occurs at abnormally high levels in cancers of the prostate, liver, esophagus, endometrium and colon, in non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and in other diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Xianghong noted.

“I3C can have striking effects on cancer cells,” he said, “and a better understanding of this mechanism may lead to the use of this dietary supplement as an effective and safe strategy for treating a variety of cancers and other human diseases.”

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