10/17/2012 06:25 pm ET Updated Oct 18, 2012

Vegetable Compounds Effective In Treating Triple-Negative Breast Cancer, Study Shows

Broccoli and Brussels sprouts have their place on both sides of the good vs. good for you debate, but regardless of which side you're on, researchers say there's a new reason to bone up on both -- breast health.

According to findings being presented at the 2012 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Annual Meeting and Exposition, a new compound created from a rich source in vegetables, including broccoli and brussel sprouts, has been developed to combat triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), the particularly aggressive form of the disease that disproportionately affects black women.

Researchers Mandip Sachdeva, Ph.D. and Chandraiah Godugu, P.h.D. from Florida A&M University, and Stephen Safe, Ph.D., from Texas A&M University, evaluated the activity of synthetic compounds derived from diindolylmethane (DIM), commonly found in various types of vegetables, and found that it can be used to treat several types of cancer, including triple-negative breast cancer.

TNBC is found in about 15 out of every 100 cases and is more likely to occur in Hispanics and African Americans, research shows.

"Targeted treatment options for TNBC are limited," said Sachdeva, adding that current treatments, such as infusions, tends to result in poor patient compliance and increased toxicity. "We are confident that the compounds we are currently working with are an effective treatment for triple-negative breast cancer," Sachdeva said.

Earlier this month, researchers made another breakthrough in the fight against TNBC, honing in on a certain form of smallpox vaccine that was able to kill 90 percent of cancer cells in four days of treatment.

Here's a look at 7 more breakthroughs in breast cancer research over the last year, with high stakes for the African-American women and men.



7 Breast Cancer Breakthroughs Of 2012