Foods that can fight cancer

What if someone told you that there was a type of bread that could prevent cancer and candy that could treat oral cancer?

You would probably give them the crazy look a mother would give her son after he tried to blame the broken window on his brother.

But this one is actually true.

Researchers are literally cooking up some super-charged versions of our favorite foods to try to prevent or treat some of the most deadly cancers. Food scientist Yael Vodovotz is one of them.

Vodovotz is currently a professor at The Ohio State University but formerly worked at NASA. There she developed food for a possible mission to Mars. Now, she is creating bread packed with soy and almond that may bring PSA levels down in men with prostate cancer.

"We looked at a group of compounds called isoflavens, which are in soy," said Vodovotz.

Researchers say those isoflavones may prevent cancer, and the almonds have an enzyme that makes it easier for you to absorb them. Forty men with prostate cancer, including Gordon Renkes, ate the bread three times a day for eight weeks.

"I could never tell that there was anything different about the bread,” said Renkes.

But researchers could notice a difference.

"What we did see was in 65% of the men in the study there was either a decrease or leveling of the PSA,” said Vodovotz.

And while the findings are not conclusive, Renkes is not giving up his bread.

"Eating something to help slow down the progress of a disease is one of the good ways to do it,” he said.

Vodovotz hopes those foods will help treat oral cancer and cancer of the esophagus.

When it came to the almond-soy bread, the team was researching how to get food to better absorb when it made the observation about the PSA levels.


REPORT: MB# 3653

BACKGROUND: Prostate cancer is cancer that occurs in a man's prostate - a small walnut-shaped gland that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm. It is one of the most common types of cancer in men. (SOURCE:

ESTIMATED NEW CASES AND DEATHS: It is estimated that in the US over 200 thousand men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, of those men, close to 30 thousand will die from the disease in 2013. (SOURCE:

SYMPTOMS: Prostate cancer may not cause signs or symptoms in its early stages. Prostate cancer that is more advanced may cause signs and symptoms such as:
* Trouble urinating
* Decreased force in the stream of urine
* Blood in the urine
* Blood in the semen
* Swelling in the legs
* Discomfort in the pelvic area
* Bone pain

LATEST MEDICAL BREAKTHROUGH: Drs. Steven Clinton, Steven Schwartz, and David Francis created a potent new food product for prostate cancer prevention. Their new tomato juice-based product contains an extract of soy phytochemicals that inhibits prostate carcinogenesis in animals. At the Ohio State University James Cancer Hospital, 60 men with prostate cancer have completed a clinical study of the soy-tomato juice. The investigative team is currently evaluating data from this National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded trial. Other NIH-supported clinical trials are evaluating new treatments for prostate cancer, such as molecularly targeted agents and additional vaccines. (SOURCE:;


Yael Vodovotz, PhD
The Ohio State University

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