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Cancer Lett. 2005 Apr 18;221(1):49-53.

Effects of progesterone on ovarian tumorigenesis in xenografted mice.

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Departments of Animal Science and Molecular Biology, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071, USA.


Circumstantial evidence indicates that progestins reduce the risk of epithelial ovarian cancer. We report that the tumorigenic capacity of human ovarian carcinoma (SKOV-3) cells inoculated into the peritoneal cavity of athymic mice is suppressed by pretreatment with subcutaneous progesterone-releasing pellets. Numbers of tumor implants on the intestines/mesentery and invasiveness into underlying host tissues were reduced at 6 weeks following exposure to progesterone. Progesterone prevented tumors from forming on the liver. Life spans of progesterone-treated animals were prolonged. There was no beneficial effect of administration of progesterone if initiated after ovarian tumors had become established on organ surfaces. Our findings implicate a role for progesterone in ovarian cancer prophylaxis.

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