Sulforaphane and Tumors

Last Updated: 03/28/17

Sulforaphane (SFN) Vegetables


Sulforaphane (SFN) is an Isothiocyanate found in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, broccoli sprouts, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, savoy cabbage, red cabbage, kale, and horseradish. SFN has been shown to exhibit chemoprotective effects for various tumors, including those of the prostate, lung, breast and colon, in vitro and in vivo. [Massachusetts General Hospital, 2016]

A study was done with SFN, extracted from cruciferous vegetables, to learn chances of to determine effectiveness with Vestibular Schwannoma (VS) with results of reduction of tumor cells. Cells in tumors were noted to have a reduction in only 24 hours. Schwannoma on the Vestibular Nerve has otherwise been found to be more responsive to chemical treatments than Schwannoma in other regions of the body.

Topic Warning

Many foods and herbal options taken in concentrated forms have been found to be more harmful than helpful.


  • In Vitro Fertilization/Fertilization (IVF): is a process by which an egg is fertilized by sperm outside the body: in vitro ("in glass").
  • In Vivo: (of a process) performed or taking place in a living organism.
  • Isothiocyanate: concentrated chemical component)
  • Chemoprotective Treatment: drugs which protect healthy tissue from the toxic effects of anticancer drugs, attacking only tumor cells.

Results Details

After 48 hours of incubation with SFN (10 µM), BrdU was used to assess proliferation in cells grown from three different primary human VS, compared to untreated control group. SFN substantially and significantly (p < 0.001) reduced BrdU incorporation by primary VS cells, consistent with an anti-proliferative effect. This inhibitory effect of SFN was confirmed using two different cell lines and a different assay. Specifically, human HEI-193 cells and mouse SC4 cells were treated with 5, 10, 15 or 25 µM of SFN or vehicle control (DMSO) for 48 hours, and cell viability was assessed using an MTT assay. SFN inhibited cell viability in a dose-dependent manner. [Massachusetts General Hospital, 2016]


Nature. Human Studies Committee of Massachusetts General Hospital. Helsinki Declaration. "Sulforaphane, a natural component of broccoli, inhibits vestibular schwannoma growth in vitro and in vivo" (November 2, 2016)
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