The isothiocyanates Sulforaphane and Benzyl Isothiocyanate are promising for preventing pancreatic cancer

January 06, 2006

Syrian hamsters are often used in research and in this case are used for research into pancreatic cancer. In this study Japanese researchers injected male Syrian hamsters with a chemical that causes pancreatic cancer four times a week. Some of the hamsters were first given Sulforaphane, Benzyl Isothiocyanate or a very small dose of Resveratrol before and after exposure to the chemical, others were given the phytonutrients after the exposure and of course some were not given the protective nutrients. It was found that giving either isothiocyanate; Sulforaphane or Benzyl Isothiocyanate before and after exposure greatly reduced the risk of developing pancreatic cancer (pancreatic adenocarcinoma) or even abnormal cell growth (atypical hyperplasia). The study is published in the December 28th, 2005 issue of the journal Cancer Letters.

Resveratrol may protect from smoking associated oral cancer

Oral cancer kills 50% of its victims within 5 years. Oral along with pharyngeal cancer will kill one American every hour, 24 hours a day this year and its death rate is higher than the death rate from melanoma, Hodgkin's disease, or cancers of the liver, cervix, testes, or brain. One of the reasons for this high rate of fatality is that oral cancer is often diagnosed after it is in an advanced stage already having metastasized to a different site, most likely the lymph glands of the neck.

Smoking causes precancerous sores in the mouth known as leukoplakia that can transform into oral cancer. 75% of those diagnosed with oral cancer are smokers and it is the number one risk factor for developing oral cancer. If you combine smoking with heavy alcohol use the risk of developing oral cancer jumps to a 15 times greater risk than nonsmokers.

In this study researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina applied the chemical benzo[a]pyrene, a cause of cigarette smoke related cancer to human gum tissue in a laboratory experiment. If either Resveratrol or Quercetin were also applied to the gum tissue, they prevented the cancer causing chemical from attaching to DNA. Preventing the attachment to DNA prevents mutation thus decreasing the risk of oral cancer. The study is published in the December 28th, 2005 issue of the journal Drug Metabolism and Disposition: the Biological Fate of Chemicals.