Chemopreventive effects of the aromatase inhibitor vorozole (R 83842) in the methylnitrosourea-induced mammary cancer model

Ronald A. Lubet, Vernon E. Steele, Roland DeCoster, Charles Bowden, Ming You, M. Margaret Juliana, Isao Eto, Gary J. Kelloff, Clinton J. Grubbs

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35 Scopus citations


The chemopreventive activity of the highly specific nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitor, vorozole, was examined in the methylnitrosourea (MNU)-induced rat model of mammary carcinogenesis. Various doses of vorozole (0.08-1.25 mg/kg body wt/day) were administered daily (by gavage) to female Sprague-Dawley rats starting at 43 days of age. Seven days later, the rats were given a single i.v. dose of MNU (50 mg/kg body wt). Rats were continually treated with vorozole until the end of the experiment (120 days post-MNU). Vorozole caused a dose dependent inhibition of mammary cancer multiplicity. The highest dose of vorozole (1.25 mg/kg body wt/day) decreased cancer multiplicity by ~ 90%, and simultaneously decreased cancer incidence from 100 to 44%. The next two highest doses of vorozole (0.63 and 0.31 mg/kg body wt/day) inhibited MNU-induced mammary cancer multiplicity by 70-80%. Even the two lowest doses of vorozole (0.16 and 0.08 mg/kg body wt/day) decreased cancer multiplicity ~ 50%. Serum level determinations were performed on a variety of endpoints at either 4 or 24 h following the last dose of vorozole. Insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 levels were slightly, but significantly, increased by vorozole treatment. Vorozole induced striking increases in serum testosterone levels at 4 h at all the dose levels employed. Testosterone levels were significantly elevated over controls at 24 h in rats given the lower doses of vorozole (0.08-0.31 mg/kg body wt/day), but were significantly lower than in rats administered the higher doses of vorozole (0.63 or 1.25 mg/kg body wt/day). This result presumably reflects the limited half-life of vorozole in rats. In a second series of experiments, the effects of limited duration of dosing with vorozole (2.5 mg/kg body wt/day) or intermittent dosing with vorozole were determined. Treatment of rats with vorozole for limited time periods, from 3 days post-MNU administration until 30 or 60 days post-MNU treatment, resulted in significant delays in the time to appearance of palpable cancers. However, these limited treatments did not greatly affect the overall incidence or multiplicity of mammary cancers when compared with the MNU controls at the end of the study (150 days post-MNU). Finally, the effects of intermittent dosing with vorozole (2.5 mg/kg body wt/day) were examined. Rats were administered cycles of vorozole daily for a period of 3 weeks followed by treatment with the vorozole vehicle for the next 3 weeks (total of four cycles). Although this intermittent treatment did inhibit the appearance of new tumors during each of the periods that vorozole was administered, it did not cause regression of palpable cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1345-1351
Number of pages7
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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