We reported previously that calorie restriction (CR) delays spontaneous carcinogenesis in p53-deficient (p53-/-) mice, suggesting that CR modulates carcinogenesis by p53-independent mechanisms. To further evaluate the role of p53, we monitored tumor development in p53-/- and wild-type (p53+/+) mice fed ad libitum (AL) or a CR regimen (60% of AL calorie intake). CR delayed tumor mortality in p53-/- and p53+/+ mice (mean time to death, 169 and 648 days, respectively) relative to AL feeding (104 and 470 days). The estimated age-specific cancer death rate AL:CR ratios were 4.3 for p53-/- mice and 4.4 for p53+/+ mice. Thus, despite the accelerated onset of carcinogenesis in p53-/- mice, the tumor-delaying effect of CR was similar in the two genotypes.
Supported by NCI Grant CA16672 (to S. D. H.).