Promotion by Unsaturated Fat of Azaserine-Induced Pancreatic Carcinogenesis in the Rat

B. D. Roebuck, J. D. Yager, Daniel S. Longnecker, Seri A. Wilpone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Diet has been shown to modulate the incidence of a wide variety of chemically induced cancers in animals. Various diets fed either during the initiation stage or the postinitiation (promotion) stage of carcinogenesis were evaluated for their ability to modulate the incidence of pancreatic cancer. Male Wistar/Lewis rats were treated with multiple injections of the pancreatic carcinogen, azaserine, during a 6- to 7-week-long initiation phase and were autopsied after a postinitiation phase of 34 or 44 weeks. The following diets were evaluated for their effects on the incidence of pancreatic neoplasms during each stage of carcinogenesis: high saturated fat; two high unsaturated fats (corn oil and safflower oil); low protein; and caloric restricted. A purified control diet was fed during that stage when the test diets were not fed. The incidence of pancreatic adenomas and adenocarcinomas was evaluated by light microscopy. Feeding of the caloric-restricted diet during the initiation phase suppressed the pancreatic neoplasm incidence. None of the other diets tested had an effect on the incidence of pancreatic cancer during the initiation phase. During the postinitiation phase, both high-unsaturated-fat diets but not the high-saturated-fat diet significantly elevated the pancreatic neoplasm incidence. The low-protein and caloric-restricted diets had no effect on the neoplasm incidence when fed during the postinitiation phase. Thus, diets high in unsaturated fat appear to promote pancreatic carcinogenesis in the azaserine-treated rat while a diet high in saturated fat failed to show a similar degree of enhancement of pancreatic carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3961-3966
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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