Researchers report that a compound found in cruciferous vegetables, a group that includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, shows potential as a new mesothelioma treatment – especially in combination with the chemotherapy drug cisplatin.
The compound is called phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC). It is a naturally occurring isothiocyanate, the component of cruciferous vegetables that give them their sulphur-like scent. Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cabbage all get their characteristic flavors from isothiocyanates – and their reported cancer-fighting power. Noting that PEITC in particular had shown promising results against several other types of cancer, scientists at France’s Universite Nantes tested it as a mesothelioma treatment alone and in combination with cisplatin on pleural mesothelioma cells and healthy mesothelial cells.
Both PEITC and cisplatin destroyed malignant mesothelioma cells; and this ability increased as the dose increased. Together the two compounds were even more powerful, not only increasing each other’s anti-cancer effects, according to the results published in the scientific journal Oncotarget – this experimental mesothelioma treatment also did not harm healthy cells.
Dietary or Pharmaceutical Effect?
We at Mesothelioma Circle have reviewed all the information we can find on this study but nowhere see a mention of the specific amounts of the active compounds. We suspect that it is a level that is far greater than what could be obtained from a normal human diet. You would probably have to eat a pile of Brussels sprouts or broccoli spears that reached to the ceiling. So this new mesothelioma treatment will have to wait until it is developed as a drug and undergoes all the testing involved in that process.
But at the same time, the study highlights that cruciferous vegetables seem to offer cancer-fighting properties. Other studies have suggested that some of these benefits may be available even at a dietary level of intake, according to the National Cancer Institute, but the evidence is not definitive.
Getting More Cruciferous Vegetables in a Mesothelioma Diet
An individual diagnosed with or undergoing mesothelioma treatment needs the best nutrition possible, to keep up the immune system, strength and energy levels. Because of their healthful properties, cruciferous vegetables could be part of a nutritious meal plan.
If approved by a physician, a mesothelioma patient’s diet could include cruciferous vegetables such as:
- Brussels sprouts
- bok choy
Cruciferous vegetables may not be a patient’s first choice for food, but a mesothelioma patient’s caregiver can ease these vegetables into the diet by:
- stir-frying them with other foods
- sautéing them and adding them to an omelet
- serving them steamed, with a vegetable dip