Furthermore, isothiocyanates are easily administered which sets them apart from many pharmaceutically-based cancer treatments currently in use. The high efficacies of isothiocyanates against cancer is maintained even when they are administered orally or as part of a diet (Hou et al. 2000, Fuke et al. 2000, Chiao et al. 2004, Tang and Zhang 2004, Tseng et al. 2004). On the other hand, present pharmaceutically-based cancer treatments are expensive, difficult to administer, and have many well-documented adverse side effects including toxicity.
Metastasis, a critical stage in cancer development is blocked by ITCs and in particular 6MSITC. Fuke and her co-workers (1997, 2000, 2006) and Manesh and Kuttan (2003) have shown that 6-MSITC from Wasabi suppressed dissemination or metastasis of tumour cells. Wasabia japonica contains a high concentration of 6-MSITC and may be the only commercially available source for this natural biomedically active molecule.
An important point to be made here is that ITCs are efficacious against the cancerous cells but do no harm healthy cells. No side-effects have been encountered. Nakamura et al. (2001) found in the case of leukemia that the isothiocyanates from Wasabi inhibit the growth of leukemia cells but do not inhibit normal cells.
Our company has obtained its first round of experimental results assessing the efficacy of Wasabi extracts on cancerous cells (breast, liver, prostate and blood [leukemia]).