Journal Article

Selenium-enriched garlic inhibits the early stage but not the late stage of mammary carcinogenesis

Clement Ip, Donald J. Lisk and Henry J. Thompson

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 17, issue 9, pages 1979-1982
Published in print September 1996 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online September 1996 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/17.9.1979
Selenium-enriched garlic inhibits the early stage but not the late
                    stage of mammary carcinogenesis

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Previous work has shown that the efficacy of cancer prevention by selenium-enriched garlic (Se-garlic) is primarily dependent on the action of selenium. Additionally, supplementation of Se-garlic inhibited the post-initiation phase of mammary carcinogenesis when it was given continuously to the animals. In this report, experiments were carried out in which treatment with the Se-garlic was started after carcinogen dosing (DMBA or MNU) but was restricted to either the early or late stage of neoplastic progression. The results from these two models showed that a short-term exposure to the Se-garlic for 1 month immediately following carcinogen administration was just as effective in cancer prevention as the continuous exposure regimen (5 months), suggesting that the Se-garlic may irreversibly alter the process of clonal expansion and/or selection of transformed cells during their early stage of development. Plasma and mammary tissue selenium levels essentially returned to basal levels at 1 month after withdrawal of supplementation. These observations imply that the outcome of cancer protection by short-term Se-garlic intervention was not due to a slow turnover, and therefore a lingering presence, of selenium in the target organ or in the circulation. The above finding was in contrast to that of a second study in which Se-garlic was supplemented starting at 13 weeks after carcinogen treatment With this protocol, the number of new tumors and the number of new tumor-bearing rats found during the intervention period (weeks 13 to 22) were not statistically different between the control and supplemented groups, suggesting that Se-garlic had a minimal effect on the later stages of mammary carcinogenesis.

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Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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