Soy protein extract inhibits oral cancer growth

Soy protein extract could serve as a chemotherapeutic agent for some oral cancers at lower concentrations that are comparable to those found in certain foods, according to research presented at the recent International Association for Dental Research meeting in Brazil.

The study findings may help explain why diets rich in fruits, vegetables, and soy protein are associated with protection against the development and progression of oral cancers, noted the study authors, from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

While many studies focusing on dietary prevention or therapy for oral cancer have explored the role of flavonoids, polyphenolic compounds produced by plants, few have evaluated whole soy extract, containing multiple isoflavones and other bioreactive compounds, the researchers explained.

So they treated two well-characterized oral cancer cell lines, CAL 27 and SCC25, with soy protein extract during in vitro proliferation assays to approximate the low- (10 µg/mL), mid- (50 µg/mL), and high-range (100 µg/mL) concentrations approximating the normal physiologic range (0-10 µM/L).

While they found that soy protein extract "significantly inhibited" the proliferation of oral cancer, the researchers also recommended additional studies to aid in the development of public health recommendations for using the extract in oral cancer treatment and prevention.

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