Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chemical In Broccoli Blocks Growth Of Prostate Cancer Cells, New Study Shows

Date:
May 16, 2003
Source:
University Of California - Berkeley
Summary:
Those seeking yet another reason to eat their veggies, take note. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have found that a chemical produced when digesting such greens as broccoli and kale can stifle the growth of human prostate cancer cells.

Berkeley - Those seeking yet another reason to eat their veggies, take note. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have found that a chemical produced when digesting such greens as broccoli and kale can stifle the growth of human prostate cancer cells.

Related Articles


The findings show that 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM), which is obtained by eating cruciferous vegetables in the Brassica genus, acts as a powerful anti-androgen that inhibits the proliferation of human prostate cancer cells in culture tests.

"As far as we know, this is the first plant-derived chemical discovered that acts as an anti-androgen," said Leonard Bjeldanes, professor and chair of nutritional sciences and toxicology at UC Berkeley's College of Natural Resources and principal investigator of the study. "This is of considerable interest in the development of therapeutics and preventive agents for prostate cancer."

Vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale and cauliflower are rich sources of indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which the body converts into DIM during digestion. Over the years, Bjeldanes has been researching the anti-cancer properties of dietary indoles with co-author Gary Firestone, UC Berkeley professor of molecular and cell biology.

The new study will be published in the June 6 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, but is now available online.

Androgen is an important hormone for the normal development and function of the prostate, but it also plays a key role in the early stages of prostate cancer, which is typically treated with anti-androgen drugs.

In most cases of prostate cancer, the cancer cells develop resistance to androgen and grow independently of the hormone in later stages of the disease.

In the new study, the researchers conducted a series of tests comparing the effects of DIM on androgen-dependent human prostate cancer cells as well as on their androgen-independent counterparts.

They found that androgen-dependent cancer cells treated with a solution of DIM grew 70 percent less than the same type of cancer cells that had been left untreated. The same solution had no effect on the growth of androgen-independent cells, pointing to androgen inhibition as the key mechanism by which the DIM is acting.

This was confirmed with further tests showing that DIM inhibits the actions of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the primary androgen involved in prostate cancer. DHT stimulates the expression of prostate specific antigen (PSA), which acts as a growth factor for prostate cancer. When androgen-dependent cells were treated with DIM, the researchers found a drop in the level of PSA.

"There are lots of things that can stop growth, but the fact that DIM decreases the expression of PSA shows that it is functioning at a gene expression level," said Bjeldanes.

Comparisons of the molecular conformation of DIM show that it is similar to Casodex, a synthetic anti-androgen on the market. "DIM works by binding to the same receptor that DHT uses, so it's essentially blocking the androgen from triggering the growth of the cancer cells," said Hien Le, lead author of the study and a former graduate student in Bjeldanes' lab.

"DIM is chemically different than Casodex, but it behaves similarly in how it blocks the effects of androgen," said Le, who received her PhD in molecular and biochemical nutrition in 2002.

These latest findings appear to add new burnish for this class of chemicals that has already shown promise in prior studies as a therapeutic agent for breast and endometrial cancer. For instance, a 1998 study by Bjeldanes and Firestone showed that I3C keeps breast cancer cells from duplicating.

"We are investigating the potential use of indoles in combination with current anti-cancer drugs on the market," said Firestone. "The advantage of combination therapy is that you can back off on the dose of a single agent and thereby reduce potential side effects."

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in American men. One in 10 men in the United States will develop signs of prostate cancer in his life, and more than 100,000 new cases are reported each year.

Le pointed out that the incidence of prostate cancer among men in Asia - where consumption of vegetables is higher - is significantly lower than that for men in the United States. However, the risk for Asian immigrants rises to levels comparable to American men the longer they stay in the United States, suggesting that factors such as diet and lifestyle play a role in the development of prostate cancer.

"There are already plenty of health reasons for consuming more vegetables such as broccoli," said Le. "This study suggests that there are even more benefits to a diet rich in these phytochemicals when it comes to preventing prostate cancer."

The study was also co-authored by Charlene Schaldach, a former PhD student in the Bjeldanes lab.

The research is supported by the California Cancer Research Project and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California - Berkeley. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California - Berkeley. "Chemical In Broccoli Blocks Growth Of Prostate Cancer Cells, New Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 May 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030516083248.htm>.
University Of California - Berkeley. (2003, May 16). Chemical In Broccoli Blocks Growth Of Prostate Cancer Cells, New Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030516083248.htm
University Of California - Berkeley. "Chemical In Broccoli Blocks Growth Of Prostate Cancer Cells, New Study Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030516083248.htm (accessed February 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 27, 2015) A dongle that plugs into a Smartphone mimics a lab-based blood test for HIV and syphilis and can detect the diseases in 15 minutes, say researchers. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) An Italian doctor is saying he could stick someone&apos;s head onto someone else&apos;s body. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) reports. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

Newsy (Feb. 27, 2015) A new study from researchers at New York University suggests dentists could soon use blood samples taken from patients&apos; mouths to test for diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) If you&apos;re looking to boost your health this season, there are a few quick and easy steps to prompt you for success. Krystin Goodwin (@Krystingoodwin) has the best tips to give your health a makeover this spring! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins