A compound produced by specially grown soy beans may prove to be successful in fighting the growth of breast and ovarian cancers, says Tulane University cancer researcher Matthew Burow.
Burow tested the compound, known as glyceollin, on mice with ovarian and breast cancer tumors that are stimulated by the hormone estrogen. Over time, the compound stopped further growth of the tumors by interfering with the tumor's ability to respond to estrogen. According to Burow, the finding is significant because of the lack of effective therapies available to women with advanced breast or ovarian cancer. Unlike some of the available therapies, the glyceollins did not stimulate uterine cancer growth.
The results of the research were published in the December 2006 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.
Burow has collaborated in the past with the United States Department of Agriculture and other institutions to fully understand the potential of glyceollins. In related research in primates, Burow's collaborators demonstrated that a diet rich in glyceollins also could help fight breast cancer.