Sulforaphane inhibits growth of a colon cancer cell line

Colorectal Dis. 2004 Jan;6(1):28-31. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1318.2004.00488.x.


Objective: The consumption of cruciferous vegetables has a protective effect on the development of colorectal cancer. The phytochemical Sulforaphane is an isothiocyanate found almost exclusively in cruciferous vegetables. We have studied the effect of Sulforaphane on cell proliferation of an HT-29 colon cancer cell line.

Materials and methods: HT-29 colon cancer cells were cultured in 96-well microtitre plates. Sulforaphane (in concentrations ranging from 0.01 to 0.1 mmol) were added to the wells. Cell proliferation was measured using the colourimetric assay technique.

Results: The proliferation of colon cancer cells was significantly reduced by Sulforaphane at concentrations of >/=0.02 mmol.

Conclusion: These findings may help explain the epidemiologically proven protective effect of vegetables against colon cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / pharmacology
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • HT29 Cells / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Isothiocyanates
  • Sulfoxides
  • Thiocyanates / pharmacology
  • Thiocyanates / therapeutic use*


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Isothiocyanates
  • Sulfoxides
  • Thiocyanates
  • sulforaphane