A latest study published in the journal 'Scientific Reports' has revealed that eating sprouts and drinking green tea can make aggressive breast cancers treatable. According to the study, the compounds present in cruciferous vegetables, such as sprouts, and in green tea can 'turn off' genes for ER-negative forms of the disease.
"Your mother always told you to eat your vegetables, and science now tells us she was right," Professor Trygve Tollefsbol, a researcher from the University of Alabama in Birmingham said.
Breast cancers are estrogen receptor(ER)-positive or estrogen receptor(ER)-negative. Doctors say that the tumours in ER-negative breast cancer are likely to respond less to hormone therapy than that of ER-positive. This eventually makes ER-negative breast cancers typically very aggressive.
The researcher said that sprouts contain a compound, known as sulforaphane, those 'turns off' tumor genes that influence the development of cancer. While, the polyphenols present in green tea have previously been shown to prevent and treat ER-negative breast cancer in mice.
As a part of the study, the researchers have analysed mice with ER-negative breast cancer after giving them the two compounds found in the foods. The results of the test found that the mice that took the compounds found in cruciferous vegetables and green tea converted aggressive breast cancers into more treatable tumours.
"The results of this research provide a novel approach to preventing and treating ER-negative breast cancer, which currently takes hundreds of thousands of lives worldwide," the study author Yuanyuan Li stated.
Dr. Laura Esserman, the lead researcher from the University of California in San Francisco said: "This is an important step forward for personalising care for women with breast cancer."
"We can now test small node-negative breast cancers, and if they are in the ultra-low risk category, we can tell women that they are highly unlikely to die of their cancers and do not need aggressive treatment, including radiation after lumpectomy," Dr. Esserman added.