Cancer Res 2001 (Sep 15); 61 (18): 6777–6782
Mentor-Marcel R, Lamartiniere CA, Eltoum IE, Greenberg NM, Elgavish A
Department of Pharmacology/Toxicology,
University of Alabama at Birmingham,
Birmingham, Alabama 35294-0019, USA
Latent prostate tumors are commonly found with similar frequency in many countries and ethnic groups. In contrast, aggressive prostate cancer (PC) is significantly less prevalent among Asian men, where the intake of soy products is very high. High consumption of foods containing soy results in high plasma, urine, and prostatic fluid concentrations of phytoestrogens, including genistein. The objective of the present study was to test the hypothesis that dietary genistein might prevent PC progression in a transgenic mouse model of PC (TRAMP). By 28-30 weeks of age, all TRAMP mice in the study had developed prostate tumors, with about half of them displaying well-differentiated prostatic adenocarcinoma (WD, score 4), and the other half divided between moderately differentiated (MD, score 5) and poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma (PD, score 6). Two lines of evidence supported the possibility that prostates with PD may represent a more advanced stage of PC in TRAMP mice: (a) the weight of prostates with PD was two orders of magnitude higher than that of prostates with WD or MD; and (b) expression of androgen receptor transcripts was altered in PD as compared with WD and MD. To test the potential of genistein to prevent the incidence of mice with PD, starting at 5-6 weeks of age, transgenic males were fed a phytoestrogen-free diet (AIN-76A) containing 0, 100, 250, or 500 mg of genistein per kg AIN-76A (25, 10, 17, and 7 mice/group, respectively). Mice were on the diet until they were 28-30 weeks of age. Each mouse was weighed once a week throughout the study. At necropsy, selected organs were weighed and prepared for histopathological evaluation. Serum levels of genistein in mice on diet containing 0, 250, or 500 mg of genistein per kg AIN-76A were 52.4 +/- 32.7, 138.9 +/- 69.6, and 397.3 +/- 104.9 nM, respectively, comparable with those found in Asian men on regular soy diet (276 nM). Using body and organ weights as indicators, dietary genistein had no toxic effect on TRAMP mice. The percentage of transgenic males that developed PD was reduced in a dose-dependent manner by dietary genistein.