Urologist Studies Soy-based Compound to Stop Bladder Cancer

Wilmot Cancer Center Leading National Research Project

August 17, 2005

Research has shown the many benefits of adding soy to our diets and urologists with the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center are studying whether it can also stop bladder tumors from growing.

Edward M. Messing, M.D., chair of Urology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, is leading a national study to determine whether genistein, a soy-based medication, can inhibit bladder tumors from progressing. Genistein is a potent isoflavone, which have proven cancer-fighting properties.

The randomized double-blind study, funded by the National Cancer Institute, is designed for people who are at high risk of a recurrence of the disease.  Each year, about 60,000 people are diagnosed with bladder cancer, one of the more common cancers and one that has a high recurrence rate.

“Bladder cancer can be fast-growing and we’re hoping that this can slow it down,” says Messing, an international expert in bladder cancer research.

Many times, doctors will detect bladder cancers and see significant growth in the tumor size during the short time between diagnosis by cystoscopy and the surgical treatment.

“We hope to see whether this could be another weapon in fighting this common disease and particularly in preventing its recurrence and even preventing it from developing in the first place,” says Messing.

Other institutions participating in the Phase II study include: University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Alabama-Birmingham, Emory University and University of Iowa

The American Cancer Society estimates 60,240 new cases of bladder cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year. Bladder cancer is more common among men than women and more common among whites than blacks. When found and treated early, the chances for survival are very good, however, about 12,710 Americans will die of the disease this year.

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