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Breast cancer in women, is the third most prevalent cancer worldwide. In 1996 alone, 910,000 new cases were diagnosed, accounting for 9% of all new cancers. Incidence and mortality from cancer are, in general, steadily increasing, especially in developed societies. We have developed strategies to inhibit cancer development and its spread using naturally occurring nutrients, such as: lysine, proline, ascorbic acid, and green tea extract. Such a unique formulation, Epican Forte (EF), was shown to exert synergestic anticancer activity in vitro in a number of cancer cell lines, including human breast, by inhibiting cancer cell growth, matrix metalloproteinase expression (by zymography), and invasive ability. The present study examines the in vivo effect of EF on development of N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU)-induced mammary tumors in rats. For this purpose, 50-day-old female Sprague-Dawley rats were initiated with a single dose of MNU (50 mg/Kg, i.p.). Two weeks post MNU treatment, a time by which the animals had recovered from MNU-induced toxicity, the rats were divided into two groups. Group I was fed Purina chow diet, while Group 2 was fed the same diet supplemented with 0.5% EF. Twenty-four weeks thereafter the rats were euthanized and skinned, and tumors were processed. The results indicated that EF inhibited MNU-induced mammary tumor incidence, tumor multiplicity (number tumors per rat), and tumor burden by 44%, 55%, and 66% respectively. The inhibitory effect of EF was also reflected in decreased tumor weight. For example, tumor weight per rat and per group was decreased by 44% and 22% respectively. These results suggest that EF significantly inhibits the incidence, as well as growth, of MNU-induced mammary tumors, and has strong potential as a useful therapeutic regimen for inhibiting breast cancer development.

[Proc Amer Assoc Cancer Res, Volume 45, 2004]