Dr. Joseph Guttenplan (right) and Dr. Peter Sacks
The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation has awarded an NYU dental research team a three-year, $600,000 grant to study whether nutrients and antioxidants found in broccoli, grapes, and other naturally-occurring compounds could prevent breast cancer.
The study’s principal investigator, Dr. Joseph Guttenplan, a Professor of Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology, is testing multiple formulations of a half-dozen nutrients and antioxidants to determine which formulations could most effectively prevent the mutations that can lead to cancer.
Dr. Guttenplan and his coinvestigator, Dr. Peter Sacks, also a Professor of Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology, are testing the formulations in vitro in rat mammary cells that have been exposed to carcinogens. The cells are genetically engineered to make any resulting mutations easy to detect.
“There is evidence to suggest that taking very high doses of each of these antioxidants could prevent cancer, but those doses might be toxic,” explained Dr. Guttenplan. “By combining these compounds, we hope to devise more potent formulations that could be safely ingested as dietary supplements in a natural preventive regimen.”