The inhibitory effect of genistein on the growth and metastasis of a transplantable rat accessory sex gland carcinoma

Cancer Lett. 1999 Mar 1;136(2):195-201. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3835(98)00322-x.


Background: A cell line (K1) derived from a carcinogen-induced accessory sex gland carcinoma was used to examine the effects of the soybean extract, genistein, on tumor growth and metastasis.

Methods: Male Lobund-Wistar rats were injected s.c. with 20 million K1 cells; genistein (50 mg/kg BW) or the vehicle was administered s.c. every 12 h for 31 days.

Results: Genistein significantly inhibited tumor growth. Compared with controls, fewer genistein-treated rats developed invasive tumors (11% vs. 44%) or lymph node metastases (44% vs. 89%). No lung metastases were found in genistein-treated animals in contrast to controls (0% vs. 44%). Estrogenic side effects were precipitated in genistein-treated rats, including decreased accessory sex gland complex weight, increased pituitary weight, decreased testis weight, and decreased (BW). Serum testosterone was undetectable and serum prostate-specific acid phosphatase activity was 38% lower in genistein-treated rats compared with controls. Genistein concentrations in the solid tumors (2 nmol/g) were one-third those in blood.

Conclusions: These data suggest that genistein may be a useful chemotherapeutic agent to inhibit the growth and metastasis of accessory sex gland cancers, such as those derived from the prostate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinoma / blood
  • Carcinoma / chemically induced
  • Carcinoma / pathology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Genistein / adverse effects
  • Genistein / blood
  • Genistein / pharmacology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Testosterone
  • Genistein