Tumor prevention by 9-cis-retinoic acid in the N-nitroso-N-methylurea model of mammary carcinogenesis is potentiated by the pineal hormone melatonin.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Our laboratory has demonstrated that treatment of MCF-7 breast cancer cells with melatonin (Mlt) followed 24h later with physiological concentrations of all-trans retinoic acid (atRA) results in apoptosis. These studies were extended into trials using the N-nitroso-N-methylurea (NMU)-induced rat mammary tumor model. Initial studies conducted by feeding the animals 9-cis-retinoic acid (9cRA in the chow) and administering melatonin by subcutaneous injection in the late afternoon demonstrated that the combination of Mlt and 9cRA was able to significantly prevent tumor development, and that the combination was more efficacious that either Mlt or 9cRA alone. In this report, we conducted studies to determine if lower doses of 9cRA could be used in combination with Mlt while still maintaining anti-tumor activity and if the route of administration of 9cRA (bolus (gavage) v.s. chronic (chow) routes) affected its interaction with Mlt. The studies presented here demonstrate that significantly reduced doses of 9cRA can be used in combination with Mlt while maintaining anti-tumor efficacy. Furthermore, our studies demonstrate that 9cRA is equally effective when it is administered chronically (chow) or as a bolus (gavage). These data demonstrate that the combined use of Mlt and 9cRA produces additive or synergistic effects, which are more efficacious than 9cRA alone. This combination of Mlt and 9cRA could be a potentially useful clinical treatment regimen for breast cancer since it allows the use of lower doses of retinoic acid, thus, avoiding the toxic side effects associated with the use of high dose retinoids.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Nowfar, S; Teplitzky, SR; Melancon, K; Kiefer, TL; Cheng, Q; Dwived, PD; Bischoff, ED; Moro, K; Anderson, MB; Dai, J; Lai, L; Yuan, L; Hill, SM

Published Date

  • March 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 72 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 33 - 43

PubMed ID

  • 12004806

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0167-6806

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1023/a:1014912919470


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Netherlands