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What effect does sulforaphane have against tumor stem cells?

Tumor stem cell marker in fluorescent staining of a tissue of a ductal pancreatic cancer

We were the first worldwide which have shown in laboratory experiment on mice, that sulforaphane attack the particularly aggressive tumor stem cells and thereby makes them sensitive to chemotherapy. We suspect that tumor stem cells – which survive conventional chemo- and radiotherapy, are responsible for the emergence and spread of cancer. Since the normal tumor cells are more sensitive, they die off during treatment and the tumor often shrinks, especially during the early courses of therapy.

However, since the resistant tumor stem cells remain, they can form the tumor again. We can even see that the tumor stem cells are enriched, during repeating chemotherapy treatment and therefore the tumor becomes resistant after several cycles. Based on our laboratory data a sulforphan rich diet counteracts the enrichment of tumor stem cells and could therefore slow down the tumor growth and make chemotherapy more effective.

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