Effects of the Bowman-Birk protease inhibitor on survival of fibroblasts and cancer cells exposed to radiation and cis-platinum

Nutr Cancer. 1996;26(2):209-17. doi: 10.1080/01635589609514477.


The Bowman-Birk inhibitor (BBI) is a soybean-derived anticarcinogenic protease inhibitor with anti-inflammatory activity. To assess the possibility of utilizing BBI for alleviating the side effects associated with lung cancer radiation and chemotherapy, we have determined the effects of BBI and a soybean concentrate enriched in BBI (known as BBIC) on radiation- and cis-platinum-induced cytotoxicity in A549 human lung cancer cells. The results demonstrated that neither BBI nor BBIC protected A549 cells from radiation- and cis-platinum-induced cytotoxicity. In fact, BBI and BBIC potentiated the cell-killing effects induced by cis-platinum alone, and BBIC treatment led to significantly enhanced cell killing by cis-platinum in combination with radiation treatment in the lung carcinoma cells. BBI conferred a significant protective effect onto mouse fibroblasts (10T1/2 cells) treated with cis-platinum in combination with 6 Gy of X-ray irradiation. These results suggest that BBI and BBIC, when given to lung cancer patients, are unlikely to interfere with cancer treatment utilizing radiation and cis-platinum.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival / drug effects*
  • Cisplatin / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Synergism
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Mice
  • Trypsin Inhibitor, Bowman-Birk Soybean / pharmacology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Trypsin Inhibitor, Bowman-Birk Soybean
  • Cisplatin