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Med Oncol. 2010 Mar;27(1):20-8. doi: 10.1007/s12032-008-9164-x. Epub 2009 Jan 21.

Long-term effect of Spirulina platensis extract on DMBA-induced hamster buccal pouch carcinogenesis (immunohistochemical study).

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Oral Biology Department, Faculty of Dentistry, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt.


In cancer research, the use of complementary and alternative medicine has increased over the past decade. In this study, 80 male golden Syrian hamsters were divided into four equal groups; the right buccal pouches of the hamster rats in group 1 were painted with 0.5% solution of 7, 12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA), three times a week for 32 weeks. The same pouches of group 2 were subjected to the same DMBA painting; but at the same time, the animals received 10 mg/daily Spirulina platensis extract for the same period. In group 3, the same regimen of DMBA painting was done but for 24 weeks only and the daily systemically S. platensis was received for the 32 weeks. In group 4, neither DMBA painting nor S. platensis administration was done but pouches were painted with saline and served as a control one. Five rats from each group were sacrificed at 12, 24, 28, and 32 weeks, respectively. The required pouches were excised, fixed, and embedded in paraffin to be immunostained with proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). The results showed that increased PCNA expression was directly related to the severity of pathological alterations from normal epithelium to dysplasia and from dysplasia to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in the study groups at the different extended periods of DMBA application and S. platensis extract administration. Analysis of variance and Duncan's multiple-range test for PCNA labeling index were proved a high significant difference (P < 0.01) between the different groups. From the previous results, it can be concluded that S. platensis extract has a beneficial role in regression of cancer progression.

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