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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2003 May;12(5):391-400.

Point: From animal models to prevention of colon cancer. Systematic review of chemoprevention in min mice and choice of the model system.

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UMR Xenobiotiques, Institut National Recherche Agronomique, Ecole Nationale Veterinaire Toulouse, 31076 Toulouse, France.


The Apc(Min/+) mouse model and the azoxymethane (AOM) rat model are the main animal models used to study the effect of dietary agents on colorectal cancer. We reviewed recently the potency of chemopreventive agents in the AOM rat model (D. E. Corpet and S. Tache, Nutr. Cancer, 43: 1-21, 2002). Here we add the results of a systematic review of the effect of dietary and chemopreventive agents on the tumor yield in Min mice. The review is based on the results of 179 studies from 71 articles and is displayed also on the internet We compared the efficacy of agents in the Min mouse model and the AOM rat model, and found that they were correlated (r = 0.66; P < 0.001), although some agents that afford strong protection in the AOM rat and the Min mouse small bowel increase the tumor yield in the large bowel of mutant mice. The agents included piroxicam, sulindac, celecoxib, difluoromethylornithine, and polyethylene glycol. The reason for this discrepancy is not known. We also compare the results of rodent studies with those of clinical intervention studies of polyp recurrence. We found that the effect of most of the agents tested was consistent across the animal and clinical models. Our point is thus: rodent models can provide guidance in the selection of prevention approaches to human colon cancer, in particular they suggest that polyethylene glycol, hesperidin, protease inhibitor, sphingomyelin, physical exercise, epidermal growth factor receptor kinase inhibitor, (+)-catechin, resveratrol, fish oil, curcumin, caffeate, and thiosulfonate are likely important preventive agents.

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