Broccoli may help cure melanoma, says study

New research shows naturally occurring isothiocyanates found in the vegetable kills deadly skin cancer cells.

A new study shows that a compound similar to hat found in broccoli and cauliflower can kill tumors in melanoma.

Scientists have found that it inhibits the growth of the diseased cell by around 69 percent in mice and they hope that this breakthrough will lead to a new drug that can destroy malignant cells without harming nearby healthy cells.

Melanoma, which is caused by exposure to UV rays is the most common and most deadly form of skin cancer.

Melanoma, when detected early can be easily cured with surgery, but when it metastasizes, it spreads to almost every other part of the body, making it virtually untreatable.

Chemotherapy and other drugs are largely ineffective in advanced stages of melanoma and it is responsible for almost three quarters of skin cancer related deaths.

A team of researchers led by Penn State College of Medicine synthesized a compound based on naturally occurring isothiocyanates, which is known to have cancer-fighting properties found in ‘cabbage family’ vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, turnips, collards, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and radish

Research suggests it blocks the hypoxia-inducible factor protein which helps cancer tumours grow.

Researchers used a few different approaches and modified the drug by replacing the sulphur with selenium and hope that it will increase its effectiveness.

The findings were reported in the European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

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