A compound in broccoli may kill and inhibit growth of deadly skin cancer cells as per a new study. The compound apparently blocks the hypoxia-inducible factor protein which helps curtail the growth of cancer tumour. The compound may be linked to killing tumors in melanoma. The study published in the European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry revealed that the compound inhibited the growth of the inflicted cell by 69 per cent in mice. Melanoma is caused by excessive exposure to UV rays. It is the most common form of skin cancer across the world. Researchers are hoping that the results might prove to be a break-through invention in the drug industry, paving way for them to design medicines and drugs that can destroy malignant cells without harming nearby healthy cells.
If detected early, Melanoma is curable with surgery. But when it metastasises, it proliferates to several parts of the body, making it all the more difficult to treat. In advanced stages one has to resort to chemotherapy and other drugs, which also prove ineffective as the cancer spreads with time. This has resulted in almost three quarters of skin cancer related deaths in the past few years.
The team of researchers led by Penn State College of Medicine synthesised a compound based on naturally occurring isothiocyanates. The compound is known to have cancer-fighting properties, is also found in 'cabbage family', which includes vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, turnips, collards, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and radish.
For the study, the team used different approaches and modified the drug by replacing the sulphur with selenium in an assumption that it will increase its effectiveness.