Faculty Advisor

Buckholt, Michael Allan

Faculty Advisor

Rulfs, Jill


B-Estradiol hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is used by perimenopausal and postmenopausal women to alleviate menopausal symptoms. HRT can upregulate cell proliferation in estrogen responsive tissues. We focused on using over-the-counter (OTC) phytoestrogen supplements containing genistein as an alternative to HRT. Using ovarian cancer cells OVCAR-3, we exposed the cells to various OTC phytoestrogen supplements, and performed cell proliferation assays to measure the response. We found OTC phytoestrogens had an antiproliferative effect on the OVCAR-3 cells, but found no correlation between the amount of genistein and the strength of the antiproliferative effect of the phytoestrogen. In conclusion, we propose taking phytoestrogen supplements as an alternative to b-Estradiol HRT.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2017


Biology and Biotechnology

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology