Breast Cancer and Watercress

watercressAberrant overexpression of matrix metalloproteinases, including metalloproteinase-9, is associated with increased invasive potential in cancer cell lines. Studies demonstrate that extracts of broccoli and watercress suppressed MMP-9 activity and invasiveness in a concentration dependent manner. The inhibitory effects of each vegetable were associated with the presence of 4-methysulfinylbutyl (sulforaphane) and 7-methylsulphinylheptyl isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates derived from broccoli and watercress inhibit metalloproteinase 9 activities and also suppress the invasive potential of human MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells in vitro.

Phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) is a constituent of watercress that has been effective in causing cell death (apoptosis) in breast cancer cels in rats.