Because it contains phytoestrogens soy is considered an interesting natural remedy to fight against the inconveniences of menopause or osteoporosis.
In a new study, researchers at Washington State University (United States) indicate that soybean could also prove particularly interesting as a complementary therapeutic approach for bone cancer, or osteosarcoma. Their study, published in the journalActa Biomateriala, has shown that the slow release of chemical compounds from soybeans, isoflavones, resulted in a reduction in the number of cancer cells in the bone, and an increase in the number of healthy cells, while reducing inflammation.
“There is not much research in this area of natural medicinal compounds in biomedical devices ”, lamented Susmita Bose, co-author of the study.
“By using these natural remedies, you can make a difference to human health with very little or no side effects, although the critical issue remains composition control,” she added.
Despite medical advances in the field, patients with osteosarcoma or metastatic bone cancer face a high rate of recurrence, so much so that osteosarcoma remains the second leading cause of cancer death in children. Treatment is usually surgical, to remove the tumor, and further includes pre- and post-operative chemotherapy. Significant inflammation often occurs during the bone reconstruction, which slows healing, lament the researchers. And let’s not talk about severe side effects of chemotherapy.
In search of more “softer” therapeutic options, the researchers here used 3D printing to create bone-like scaffolds, on which they tested three compounds from soybeans, from the family of soybeans. isoflavones. These molecules are known to have a protective effect on bone health. The scientists then injected the compounds into samples containing cancerous bone cells as well as healthy cells. One of the soy compounds, genistein, resulted in a r90% reduction in the viability of cancerous bone cells of the sample after only 11 days. The other isoflavones tested improved the growth of healthy bone cells.
The researchers therefore plan to use synthetic bone grafts as a drug carrier, in the hope of fighting bone cancer other than with heavy chemotherapy.