Background: Genistein (GEN), a naturally occurring flavonoid present in soy bean, has attracted scientific interest for its possible benefits in cancer.
Objective: The potential immunomodulatory effects of genistein on the immune system and against TC-1 tumor cell line were evaluated in adult female C57BL/6 mice.
Methods: Mice were treated with GEN 10 days before to 10 days after the tumor induction. Thirty days after the last GEN treatment, lymphocyte proliferation, Lactase Dehydrogenase (LDH) cytolytic activity and cytokine secretion were analyzed in GEN and control groups.
Results: The results showed that ingestion of genistein significantly increased lymphocyte proliferation and LDH release. Furthermore, the treatment with genistein also caused a significant increment in interferon gamma (IFN-γ). In addition, the treatment achieved significant therapeutic effect in tumor models compared to the control group. These results indicated that the effect of GEN on tumor growth may be attributed to its effect on lymphocyte proliferation, cytolytic activity and IFN-γ production.
Conclusion: These results demonstrate that GEN exerts an immunomodulatory effect in a mouse model of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) associated-cervical cancer.