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Could a Component Found in Cruciferous Vegetables Improve Mesothelioma Therapy?

Vegetables for Mesothelioma Therapy

Once again research points to nature for help in fighting mesothelioma. MesotheliomaHelp has reported many times on the use of fruits, vegetables and other edible plants, including grapes, onions, and even sea cucumbers, in anti-cancer treatments.

Now, researchers are looking at a compound found in broccoli, cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables to determine if it is effective in enhancing the benefits of cisplatin in malignant mesothelioma cells.

Cruciferous vegetables are nutrient and fiber-rich, and have a high content of phytochemicals and antioxidants, which are shown to prevent cancer from developing.

The vegetables are also high in glucosinolates that have been found to inhibit the development of cancer, and, in some studies, to induce cell death.

Researchers from Soonchunhyang University of Korea looked at Sulforaphane (SFN), a compound derived from glucoraphanin, found in cruciferous vegetables, to determine whether a combination of SFN and cisplatin, a chemotherapy agent, would be effective in fighting mesothelioma.

Cisplatin is a chemotherapy drug administered to mesothelioma patients after surgery to prevent the disease from progressing, or as the primary treatment to shrink the tumor.

Cisplatin is used in combination with other chemo-agents, most often with pemetrexed. However, most patients eventually develop a resistance to the drug rendering the treatment ineffective.

When SFN was included with cisplatin, the researchers found the combination treatment of the two compounds stymied the growth of the mesothelioma and helped to kill off some of the cancer cells through “synergistic growth‑inhibiting and apoptosis [cell death]‑promoting activities.”

Further, when the researchers added a third component that inhibited autophagy, a process that can protect cancer cells by destroying the drugs or substances meant to kill them, the SFN/cisplatin combination cell-killing ability was enhanced.

The researchers concluded, “Considering the pro‑oxidant‑based combinational approach, the results of the present study provide a rationale for targeting cytoprotective autophagy as a potential therapeutic strategy for malignant mesothelioma.”

This finding offers hope to the more than 3,000 Americans diagnosed each year with mesothelioma who have limited treatment options.

Continued research into finding a treatment that limits the resistance of the cancer cells to chemotherapy can mean the difference in extended survival for some mesothelioma patients.

More, extensive research will need to be conducted following this study which was conducted in a lab on cancer cells.

See the full study in the June 15 issue of Molecular Medicine Reports.

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