Study: Compound in broccoli can kill leukemia cells in children

Study: Compound in broccoli can kill leukemia cells in children



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SALT LAKE CITY — Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts contain a compound that could cure leukemia cells, researchers found.

According to a study out of the Baylor College of Medicine, sulforaphane — a compound found in cruciferous vegetables — reduced the number of acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells in vitro and in mouse models without killing healthy cells.

Researchers looked specifically at acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells — the most prevalent hematological cancer in children. They said that disease relapse is "still the leading cause of cancer-related death in children and 20 percent of children will relapse after initial treatment. The survival rate of patients is between 20 to 50 percent, depending on the time and site of the relapse, they said.

Study authors also noted that development of chemodrugs for children lagged behind those for adults.

Consumption of the vegetables will not cure cancer, researchers said, as their study used a high concentrate of sulforaphane.

Previous studies, however, have shown that people who consumed cruciferous vegetable-rich diet had fewer cases of breast, lung and colon cancer than those who did not. Those who ate them raw found more benefits than those who cooked the vegetables through, which caused the vegetables to lose some of their nutrients.

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Celeste Tholen Rosenlof

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