Reduction of ovarian and oviductal cancers in calorie-restricted laying chickens.
Epithelial ovarian cancer (OVAC) remains a highly lethal malignancy. It is a leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the United States causing more deaths than all other gynecologic malignancies combined. The pathogenesis of OVAC is not completely understood, but the process of repeated ovulation is believed to lead to genetic damage in the ovarian epithelium. As part of a prospective trial designed to evaluate OVAC chemopreventive strategies using the chicken model, caloric restriction (55% less energy) was used to inhibit ovulation in groups of hens receiving chemopreventives, thereby minimizing the impact of ovulation on the incidence of reproductive tract cancer. A separate group of chickens was maintained concurrently in the same environment, and managed similarly, except that caloric intake was not restricted. Among birds not receiving chemopreventive agents, we compared caloric versus noncaloric restricted birds to determine the relations between calorie restriction and risk of developing adenocarcinoma of the reproductive tract. Mortality in the calorie-restricted group was almost half that of those on full feed. Calorie-restricted chickens maintained body weights averaging 1.423 kg compared with the full-fed birds at 1.892 kg. Ovulation rate varied with the full-fed group producing 64% more eggs than the calorie-restricted group. Total reproductive cancers occurred in 57 (33.3%) birds for the full-fed group and 26 (10.3%) birds for the calorie-restricted group. On the basis of histopathology, 45 (26.3%) birds in the full-fed group had ovarian adenocarcinoma compared with 16 (6.3%) birds in the calorie-restricted group. Calorie restriction in laying hens resulted in a near five-fold reduction in OVAC.
Carver, DK; Barnes, HJ; Anderson, KE; Petitte, JN; Whitaker, R; Berchuck, A; Rodriguez, GC
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