Student Work

Examining the Effects of Phytoestrogens on Prostate Cancer Cells

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Estrogenic hormone therapy has been used to treat prostate cancer, and phytoestrogen compounds with similar structures as estrogens are additionally considered to have chemoprotective qualities that result in slower proliferation of cancer cells such as breast cancer. Preliminary studies have suggested that this quality extends to prostate cancer. This project used quantitative analysis of LNCaP and PC-3 prostate cancer cell proliferation in an attempt to confirm these findings. Phytoestrogen treatments included the isoflavones genistein, biochanin A, formononetin, and daidzein as well as Promensil, an over-the-counter supplement containing these isoflavones combined. Overall, cell counts and MTS assays following treatments with phytoestrogens, 17-β-Estradiol, and 5ɑ-Dihydrotestosterone-D3 did not consistently show significant antiproliferative effects from phytoestrogens. However, MTS assay results showed promise of exhibiting a chemoprotective property as decreased growth for individual isoflavones and Promensil varied. Immunoblotting confirmed the presence of both estrogen receptors α and β in PC-3 cells, which likely function in the phytoestrogen pathway rather than through the androgen receptor. Due to conflicting results with proliferation assays and difficulties in LNCaP maintenance, more research should be done to investigate this relationship further and establish the true mechanism of action.

  • This report represents the work of one or more WPI undergraduate students submitted to the faculty as evidence of completion of a degree requirement. WPI routinely publishes these reports on its website without editorial or peer review.
  • E-project-042723-141139
  • 106341
  • 2023
UN Sustainable Development Goals
Date created
  • 2023-04-27
Resource type
  • E-project-042723-141139
Rights statement
Last modified
  • 2023-06-23


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