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J Nutr. 1999 Sep;129(9):1628-35.

Soybean phytochemicals inhibit the growth of transplantable human prostate carcinoma and tumor angiogenesis in mice.

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  • 1Nutrition/Metabolism Laboratory, Department of Surgery, Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


The objectives of our studies are to characterize the ability of dietary soybean components to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer in mice and alter tumor biomarkers associated with angiogenesis. Soy isoflavones (genistein or daidzein) or soy phytochemical concentrate inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells LNCaP, DU 145 and PC-3 in vitro, but only at supraphysiologic concentrations, i.e., 50% inhibitory concentration (IC(50)) > 50 micromol/L. G2-M arrest and DNA fragmentation consistent with apoptosis of prostate cancer cells are also observed at concentrations causing growth inhibition. In contrast, the in vitro proliferation of vascular endothelial cells was inhibited by soy phytochemcials at much lower concentrations. We evaluated the ability of dietary soy phytochemical concentrate and soy protein isolate to inhibit the growth of the LNCaP human prostate cancer in severe combined immune-deficient mice. Mice inoculated subcutaneously with LNCaP cells (2 x 10(6)) were randomly assigned to one of the six dietary groups based on the AIN-76A formulation for 3 wk. A 2 x 3 factorial design was employed with two protein sources (20%, casein vs. soy protein) and three levels of soy phytochemical concentrate (0, 0.2 and 1.0% of the diet). Soy components did not alter body weight gain or food intake. Compared with casein-fed controls, the tumor volumes after 3 wk were reduced by 11% (P = 0.45) by soy protein, 19% (P = 0.17) by 0.2% soy phytochemical concentrate, 28% by soy protein with 0.2% soy phytochemical concentrate (P < 0.05), 30% by 1.0% soy phytochemical concentrate (P < 0.05) and 40% by soy protein with 1.0% soy phytochemical concentrate (P < 0.005). Histologic examination of tumor tissue showed that consumption of soy products significantly reduced tumor cell proliferation, increased apoptosis and reduced microvessel density. The angiogenic protein insulin-like growth factor-I was reduced in the circulation of mice fed soy protein and phytochemical concentrate. Our data suggest that dietary soy products may inhibit experimental prostate tumor growth through a combination of direct effects on tumor cells and indirect effects on tumor neovasculature.

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