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Acta Histochem Cytochem. 2007 May 12;40(2):61-7. Epub 2007 May 10.

Promoting effects of milk on the development of 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA)-induced mammary tumors in rats.

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Department of Social Medicine & Health Education, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing, 100083, China.


To assess the effect of milk on the development of 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA)-induced mammary tumors, 48 female Sprague-Dawley rats treated with DMBA were divided into 3 groups and given 1 of 3 test solutions for 20 weeks as their drinking liquid: milk, estrone sulfate solution or tap water. The milk group showed a significantly great incidence (75%) in tumor development compared with the water group (38%) and was comparable to the estrone sulfate group (69%). Mean tumor number per rat in the milk group was significantly higher than that in the water group (p=0.009). We classified the mammary tumors into three histological types: intraductal papilloma, fibroadenoma, and adenocarcinoma. Although the percent of intraductal papilloma and fibroadenoma was almost same among the three groups, malignant tumor was found only in the milk and estrone sulfate groups. In conclusion, our results indicate that milk as well as estrone sulfate promotes the development of DMBA-induced mammary tumors in rat and could be associated with the occurrence of adenocarcinoma.

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