Soy increases effectiveness of radiotherapy in lung cancer, study shows

11th April 2011

Soybeans can increase the effectiveness of radiation in killing lung cancer cells, a new study has shown.

The research, completed at Wayne State University, found that a component of soy beans known as isoflayones helped to inhibit the survival mechanism in lung cancer cells, making them less resistant to radiotherapy.

Isoflavones, which are naturally occurring, also act as antioxidants, helping to protect normal tissue against damage from the radiotherapy.

Gilda Gillman, who led the team of researchers, said: "To improve radiotherapy for lung cancer, we are studying the potential of natural non-toxic components of soybeans, called soy isoflavones, to augment the effect of radiation against the tumour cells and at the same time protect normal lung cells against radiation injury."

  study was completed in 2005 which suggested that eating a soy-rich diet could help to protect from the risk of lung cancer, as foods containing soy include phytoestrogens, which have a protective effect.

By Jeanette Royston


Singh-Gupta, Vinta et al. "Soy Isoflavones Augment Radiation Effect by Inhibiting APE1/Ref-1 DNA Repair Activity in Non-small Cell Lung Cancer" Journal of Thoracic Oncology. April 2011.
Schabath, M.B. et al. "Dietary Phytoestrogens and lung cancer risk." Journal of the American Medical Association. 2005


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