Low-dose dietary phytoestrogen abrogates tamoxifen-associated mammary tumor prevention

Bolin Liu, Susan Edgerton, Xiaohe Yang, Aeree Kim, Dalia Ordonez-Ercan, Terza Mason, Kathy Alvarez, Christine McKimmey, Naxin Liu, Ann Thor

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116 Citations (Scopus)


Wild-type erbB-2/neu transgenic mice were used to study the interactions between tamoxifen and dietary phytoestrogens (or isoflavones) by dose and form in vivo. Mice were randomized to one of four dietary formulas and implanted with an 8-week continuous-release tamoxifen or placebo pellet at 8 weeks of age. In placebo-treated mice, soy meal diet (but not diets supplemented with low-dose or high-dose isoflavones or a casein diet) resulted in prolongation of tumor latency. In tamoxifen-treated mice fed the soy meal, casein, or high-dose isoflavone enriched diets, the majority (>80%) showed no tumor formation by 60 weeks of age. Of the mice that developed tumors, latency was significantly prolonged. In tamoxifen-treated mice fed the low-dose isoflavone enriched diet, a much higher rate of mammary tumor development (>50%; P < 0.002) and a shorter tumor latency were observed. In vitro studies of human and mouse mammary tumor cell lines confirm that low doses of genistein, co-administered with tamoxifen, promote cell proliferation. This is in contrast to tamoxifen alone or tamoxifen with higher doses of genistein that are growth inhibitory. In summary, low-dose dietary isoflavones abrogated tamoxifen-associated mammary tumor prevention in vivo. These interactions are supported by in vitro data from human and mouse mammary tumor cell lines. These dose-associated interactions likely have relevance to the human use of tamoxifen for prevention or treatment of breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)879-886
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Feb 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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