Date: 19 Mar 2010

Mammary and Prostate Cancer Chemoprevention and Mechanisms of Action of Resveratrol and Genistein in Rodent Models

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Key Points

1. Almost 200,000 men and women in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate and breast cancers, respectively, this year alone. It has become increasingly clear that environmental exposures, including diet, influence the risk of both breast and prostate cancers.

2. Two natural polyphenols that have received much interest in the field of cancer prevention are genistein, an isoflavone component of soy, and resveratrol, a phytoalexin found in red grapes and red wine. Epidemiological and in vitro laboratory data suggest that these polyphenols may protect against breast and prostate cancers.

3. Using in vivo rodent models of breast and prostate cancers, our lab and others have shown that genistein and resveratrol, administered alone or in combination, can suppress both breast and prostate carcinogenesis.

4. Genistein, at concentrations resulting in serum levels comparable to humans on a high soy diet, suppressed mammary tumor multiplicity through enhanced mammary gland maturation and a reduction in the targets of mammary carcinogens. Genistein also reduced the incidence of aggressive prostate tumors in a transgenic mouse model of prostate cancer.

5. Resveratrol, administered in the diet, suppressed mammary tumor multiplicity and increased tumor latency. Reductions in mammary epithelial cell proliferation and increased apoptosis help to explain these mammary protective effects. Resveratrol was also able to reduce the incidence of poorly differentiated prostate tumors through modulation of cell proliferation and critical growth factor pathways in the rodent prostate.

6. Chemoprevention of both breast and prostate cancers with combinational genistein and resveratrol treatments was also demonstrated. Both resveratrol and genistein, alone and in combination, were effective at suppressing breast and prostate carcinogenesis using in vivo models.