Genistein Derivatives Inhibit Breast Cancer Cell Growth In Culture
Posted Jun 01 2011 1:41pm
Over the last couple of years several research studies have been published outlining the possible cancer-fighting benefits of adding soy to our diets . Consumption of soy foods has been reported to reduce breast cancer risk and to reduce the risk for breast cancer recurrence. Many of these benefits are thought to be due to the cellular actions of the soy isoflavones, particularly genistein. As one might expect, this has lead to an increase in research into the possible benefits of synthetically derived soy isoflavones.
One new breast cancer research study explored the effect of seven different synthetic derivatives of the soy isoflavone genistein on breast cancer cells grown in culture. For this breast cancer research experiment, investigators cultured 3 different types of estrogen receptor-positive (ER[+]) breast cancer cells and treated them for 96 hours with different concentrations of the synthetic genistein derivatives (called MA-6, MA-8, MA-11, MA-19, MA-20, MA-21, and MA-22). The study investigators reported that three of the seven genistein derivatives (MA-6, MA-8, and MA-19) showed cancer-fighting benefits in breast cancer cell cultures. These genistein derivatives induced programmed cell death, inhibited the expression of ER-alpha, and increased the ratio of ER-beta to ER-alpha. These changes were similar to effects observed when the breast cancer cells were treated with natural genistein; however, much lower doses were needed when the synthetic genistein compounds were used compared to when natural genistein was used.
Each of these changes represent a breast cancer-fighting benefit against ER[+] breast cancers. Since ER[+] breast cancers rely on the presence of ER-alpha for continued growth, the ability of genistein and its synthetic derivatives to reduce the presence of ER[+] and enhance the presence of ER-beta, which has been reported to have protective benefits , continues to support it's cancer fighting benefits. While a lot more research will need to be done to prove the effectiveness and safety of these synthetic genistein derivatives for use in people, natural genistein can be added to one's diet by simply consuming everyday soy foods like tofu, soy milk, soy protein bars and shakes, and more.