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The nutritional value of broccoli is widely accepted, but a new study has found that one compound in the vegetable may also be effective in treating breast cancer.
The study found that sulforaphane, a compound found in broccoli, may inhibit the growth of cancer stem-cells. A small number of these cells are responsible for producing large, cancerous growths, and current treatments like chemotherapy are usually unable to kill them.
Lead researcher, Dr Duxin Sun of the University of Michigan, said that the findings could lead to more effective breast cancer treatments by killing the tumor at the root.
"This new insight suggests the potential of sulforaphane or broccoli extract to prevent or treat cancer by targeting the critical cancer stem cells," she said.
More than 40,000 women died from breast cancer in 2006, according to the most recently available figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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