A new study has reported that watercress can inhibit angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is the process by which tumors send out signals to induce surrounding normal tissues to grow new blood vessels into the tumor. As tumors expand, they quickly outgrow their existing blood supply. Therefore, angiogenesis is important to continued tumor growth and development.

The study was designed to investigate the anti-cancer activities of phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC), an isothiocyanate abundant in watercress and also found in some other brassica vegetables. The authors demonstrate that phenethyl isothiocyanate inhibits angiogenesis by interfering with the function of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF), a protein that plays a crucial important role in the expression of pro-angiogenic factors. The authors conclude that phenethyl isothiocyanate is an effective inhibitor of HIF activity and that this may contribute to its anti-angiogenic and anti-cancer effects.

Please see our article on how to optimize your breast cancer diet for information on what to eat during all stages of treatment and recovery.