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Fung-Lung Chung vs. Cancer

by Denis Faye | January 27, 2011


Cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli and cauliflower, have been shown to battle cancer and now scientists have discovered the substances within them that do this. Appearing in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, the study, headed by Georgetown professor Dr. Fung-Lung Chung, focuses on —

Okay, look, I wasn’t going to do this because I don’t want to be culturally insensitive, but I need to take a moment to comment on the name Fung-Lung Chung. It’s a terrible name. I don’t think I’m out of line because I would have made the same comment if his name was Tom Rom-Com or Rob Bob-Knob. These aren’t good names either and it is the responsibility of the parents to sort that out. It’s job #1 of parenting. First thing you do before even buying diapers. “Let’s call him Fung-Lung Chung – no, wait, that rhymes. He’ll be mocked his entire life. Maybe it isn’t a prudent choice.” That’s what should have happened.

On the other hand, growing up with decades of name-based ridicule could very well have driven Dr. Fung-Lung Chung to excell in life and do something like, say, potentially discover a cure for cancer – but that’s quite a gamble for a parent to take. He also could have taken his own life after shooting up a Del Taco. It could have gone either way.

Regardless, it all turned out okay because Dr. Fung-Lung Chung and the gang have isolated substances in cruciferous veggies called isothiocyanates (or ITCs). Humans have a gene called p53 that suppresses cancer, keeping cells healthy. Sometimes, this gene mutates and can’t get the job done. ITCs sweep in and get rid of those mutant p53s so the healthy ones can take care of business.

Well done, people. Dr. Fung-Lung Chung, I salute you.

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4 thoughts on “Fung-Lung Chung vs. Cancer

  1. Anonymous

    LOL. Well, in defense of Dr Chung’s parents, the name doesn’t rhyme in Taiwan, where he was born. The western version of his name is more of a translation problem than anything else…

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    I’d like to point out two things. First, Dr. Chung’s group did not discover ITCs, they were isolated in the 70s and they’ve been investigated as potential anti-cancer agents since the late 90s. Secondly, ITCs are cleared by the body very fast, within a few hours, and tissue concentrations rarely reach therapeutic levels. The exception is in the bladder, where ITC concentrations can reach 1500x the concentrations found in the blood. There’s a lot of interesting work with ITCs and bladder cancer, and it certainly wouldn’t hurt a person with risk factors for bladder cancer to eat a few extra servings of raw/steamed broccoli. Don’t boil it, it will destroy the ITCs.

    Reply
  3. D Faye

    Thanks for clearing that up, Anon. I appreciate it!

    For the record, it looks like scientists already knew that they did, but Fung Lung Chung and the Gang sorted out why.

    Reply

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