New studies have recently shown that certain vegetables are much more effective in what concerns cancer’s complete removal because they can target the tumor stem cells that cannot be affected by radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
The negative effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy
Neither of these therapies can be considered a real treatment for cancer due to the fact that they affect the healthy cells which are rapidly dividing, such as those located at the level of intestines or the mouth. Researchers from the Los Angeles University discovered that radiations have a few important drawbacks:
- They are killing almost half of the treated tumor cells
- Breast cancer cells can become even more malign
- They transform other cells into breast cancer induced cells
Similarly, chemotherapy can only destroy cells that are less dangerous and harmful. The tumor stem cells that stay alive are resistant to traditional treatments and much more lethal. According to scientists, treatments which do not succeed to completely eliminate cancer stem cells allow the tumors to reoccur.
A conventional treatment cannot kill tumor stem cells
Even though cancer stem cells represent less than 5% of a tumor, they have the power to regenerate the original tumor. They are a branch of tumor cells with an increased capacity of recovery and ability to generate new tumor cells. They can migrate through blood vessels, spreading the disease in other locations as well.
Developing therapies against these cancer cells remains a hope in increasing life expectancy and in improving the patients’ quality of life.
Vegetables that target tumor stem cells
An ingredient contained by cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower named phenylisothiocyanate or PITC can not only target the tumor stem cells, but it can also prevent the relapse and spreading of different cancer types.
Studies show that this composite has anti-inflammatory properties and a chemical activity in preventing colon, prostate, breast, cervical, ovarian and pancreatic cancer. It is also being tested for pulmonary cancer.
PITC slowed down and reduced the multiplying of cervical cancer stem cells proving an efficiency resembling salinomicin – a medicine used in chemotherapy, but without its toxic effects. Also, this composite’s effects were significantly more efficient in blocking the cervical cancer stem cells’ spreading in comparison with paclitaxel, another toxic medicine used in chemotherapy.
Vegetables rich in PITC
Previous researches published in the Britannic Journal of Nutrition and Biochemical Pharmacology showed that the PITC in dock can suppress the evolution of breast cancer cells. A constant consumption of dock and broccoli reduce the risk of breast cancer. Broccoli has proved to be efficient in killing those stem cells that make cancer immortal.
Other vegetables such as Kale cabbage, arugula, turnip, radish, horse radish, dock and cauliflower proved to be extremely efficient in improving the survival rate in patients with ovarian cancer. They contain another great and powerful ingredient named sulforaphane. It increases the capacity of liver to detox carcinogens and other toxic substances from the body.
Other ailments that target cancer stem cells are the turmeric plant (curcuma targets the cerebral cancer stem cells) and green tea (the EGCG suppress the regenerating process of the stem cells in the prostate cancer).