Veggies May Offer Cancer Cure

Altered compound, found in certain greens, could become treatment, study says

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TUESDAY, Jan. 13, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Another round of healthy applause may soon be due for the likes of broccoli, cabbage, turnips and mustard greens.

It's already recognized that these humble vegetables may help prevent some cancers. Now, researchers at Texas A&M University say they may have found a way to derive a cancer cure from these foods.

The researchers have patented a new use for derivatives of diindolylmethane (DIM), a natural compound derived from certain vegetables, to treat cancer.

"We took advantage of a natural chemical, that research has shown will prevent cancer, and developed several more analogs," chemist Steve Safe says in a prepared statement.

"DIM is a potent substance. But we made it even more potent against various tumors," Safe says.

In laboratory tests, this chemically altered DIM proved effective in inhibiting the growth of breast, pancreatic, colon, bladder and ovarian cancer cells. Limited trials on rats and mice yielded similar results.

"One of the best parts is that this treatment appears to have minimal or no side effects; in the mice trials it just stops tumor growth. The hope now is that the patented chemicals can be developed into useful drugs for clinical trials and then be used for cancer treatment," Safe says.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about eating vegetables and fruits to prevent cancer.

SOURCE: Texas A&M University, news release, Jan. 5, 2004

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