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HEALTHY VEG CAN COMBAT SKIN CANCER; Greens inspire new drug.

Byline: By Ben Spencer

SCIENTISTS are developing a drug based on chemicals found in broccoli and cabbage which successfully fights skin cancer.

The vegetables have been shown to prevent melanoma and work better at attacking tumours than conventional treatment, the researchers revealed yesterday.

They say compounds extracted from them may even be added to sunscreen lotion in future.

Lab tests suggest that these compounds, when combined with selenium, a mineral found in Brazil nuts and bread, target tumours more safely and effectively.

Now, work is under way to develop the first commercial drugs based on them.

Scientists at Pennsylvania State University in the US have made a drug that can halt the growth of skin cancer tumours in mice by up to 60 per cent. Professor Gavin Robertson said that until now, there have been no drugs that target proteins which trigger melanoma.

He said: "We have harnessed something found in nature to target melanoma.

"And since we only need tiny amounts to kill the cancer cells, it means even less toxic side-effects for the patient."

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HOPE: From broccoli
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 3, 2009
Words:181
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