Soy isoflavones exhibit a number of biological effects, suggesting that they may have a role in cancer prevention. Our objectives are to determine whether components of soy products or purified soy isoflavones can inhibit the progression of bladder cancer. We compared the in vitro effects of pure soy isoflavones and soy phytochemical concentrate on growth curves, cell cycle progression, and apoptosis in murine and human bladder cancer cell lines. Pure soy isoflavones (genistein, genistin, daidzein, and biochanin A) and soy phytochemical concentrate exhibit dose-dependent growth inhibition of murine (MB49 and MBT-2) and human (HT-1376, UM-UC-3, RT-4, J82, and TCCSUP) bladder cancer cell lines, although the degree of inhibition varies among lines. Soy isoflavones induce a G2-M cell cycle arrest in all human and murine lines evaluated by flow cytometry. In addition, some bladder cancer lines show DNA fragmentation consistent with apoptosis. We next evaluated the ability of genistein, soy phytochemical concentrate, and soy protein isolate, respectively, to inhibit the growth of transplantable murine bladder cancer in vivo. C57BL/6 mice were randomly assigned to treatment groups (n = 12/group): (a) (AIN-76A diet; (b) AIN-76A diet plus genistein, i.p., 50 mg/kg body weight/day; (c) AIN-76 diet with soy phytochemical concentrate at 0.2% of the diet; (d) AIN-76 diet with soy phytochemical concentrate at 1.0% of the diet; and (e) AIN-76A diet with soy protein isolate, 20% by weight. Mice were inoculated s.c. with 5 × 104 syngeneic MB49 bladder carcinoma cells, and tumor growth was quantitated. Neither genistein nor soy products reduced body weight gain. Tumor volumes from mice treated with genistein, dietary soy phytochemical concentrate at 1%, or dietary soy protein isolate were reduced by 40% (P < 0.007), 48% (P < 0.001), or 37% (P < 0.01), respectively, compared with controls. We characterized the effects of treatment on several biomarkers in tumor tissue: proliferation index by proliferating cell nuclear antigen staining, apoptotic index by terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling staining, and angiogenesis by microvessel quantitation. Soy products reduced angiogenesis, increased apoptosis, and slightly reduced proliferation while showing no histopathological effects on the normal bladder mucosa. Our data suggest that soy isoflavones can inhibit bladder tumor growth through a combination of direct effects on tumor cells and indirect effects on the tumor neovasculature. Soy products warrant further investigation in bladder cancer prevention and treatment programs or as antiangiogenic agents.


Supported by USPHS Grants KO7 CA23326 and RO1 CA72482 (National Cancer Institute, NIH; to S. K. C.) and F32 CA71161 (National Cancer Institute; to J-R. Z.).

This content is only available via PDF.