Researchers Study Whether Soy Could Improve the Treatment of Bone Cancer

In recent years, researchers have demonstrated the various health benefits that soy possesses. Some have linked the consumption of soy to reduced cancer, obesity as well as improved bone health. Now researchers from WSU are planning to utilize the benefits of soy to help better postoperative bone cancer treatment.

In the Acta Biomaterialia journal, Naboneeta Sarkar, a graduate student and Susmita Bose, professor from the school of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, WSU, demonstrated that the steady release of chemical compounds that are soy-based from a bone-structure that was 3D printed led to the decrease of osteosarcoma cells as well as harmful inflammation and increasing healthy cells.

Prof. Bose stated that there hadn’t been much research done in this field, especially using natural medicinal substances in biomedical machines. Using natural substances may help better a person’s health with minimal or no side effects. However, the serious issue lies in how to control the composition of these natural medicines.

Despite it being rare, osteosarcoma occurs mostly in young adults as well as children. Patients with metastatic bone cancer and osteosarcoma experience a high recurrence rate, even with the numerous advancements that have been made in the medical field. In children, osteosarcoma comes up as the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related deaths.

Treatments of these cancers involves having an operation to remove the cancerous tumors then preoperative and post-operative chemotherapy. As areas of the bones affected need to be removed and mended, patients usually experience notable inflammation during reconstruction of the bones. This slows down the healing process. Additionally, the many doses of chemotherapy that are administered before and also after surgery have harmful side effects.

Researchers are therefore trying to develop treatment options that are less harsh, especially post-surgery when the patients are struggling to recuperate from the bone damage while also ingesting strong drugs to help suppress the growth of other tumors. Bose and her team have been studying the engineering of bone tissue to repair bones as a different approach, using advanced manufacturing methods to create effectual biomedical devices.

In this research, the team used 3D printing to form bone structure frames that were patient-specific and comprised of 3 soy compounds. They steadily released the soy compounds into the samples that contained bone cancer and those that had healthy bone cells. Two of the soy compounds improved healthy bone cell growth significantly while the remaining one induced a 90% decrease in the feasibility of the bone cancer cells in their specific samples after an 11-day period.

Bose stated that the results from these findings advanced their understanding in providing therapeutic relief using synthetic bone grafts as a way to deliver the drugs.

The research is still continuing but the work that has been done so far is more than commendable. It’s amazing what knowledge passion and empathy can uncover. Analysts say this commendable work is likely to be welcomed by the biomedical community, including companies like DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: DRIO).

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