Oral enzyme therapy and experimental rat mammary tumor metastasis

L. A. Cohen, C. Aliaga, B. Pittman, E. L. Wynder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Although there has been much interest over the years in the medical use of orally administered proteolytic enzymes, there is considerable controversy about their efficacy against advanced stages of cancer. In light of this, the goal of the present study was to assess the inhibitory effects of different doses of an orally administered porcine pancreas preparation on the growth and metastasis of the R13762 transplantable rat mammary tumor. Five groups of 12 F-344 female retired breeders were inoculated orthotopically with a 2mm3 tumor implant and placed on the following diets: (1) AIN-76A diet + 20% porcine pancreas preparation (PPP); (2) AIN-76A + 20% PPP + 10 mg Mg citrate/rat/day; (3) AIN-76A + 2% PPP; (4) AIN-76A + 2% PPP + 10 mg Mg citrate and (5) AIN-76A only (control). Primary tumor development was monitored for 40 days and following sacrifice, lungs were excised, stained and metastatic foci quantitated. Metastatic foci were sorted into 3 groups based on their radii: small (<1mm), medium (1-3mm) and large (>3mm), and volumes calculated. The oral enzyme preparation had no effect on primary tumor growth or on body weight change over the duration of the study. The percent (incidence) of rats with pulmonary metastases among the five groups were not significantly different. However, among the three size categories of pulmonary foci, decreased incidence was found only in the large (>3mm) volume subset of the 2% PPP group supplemented with Mg++. When assessed in terms of mean number of pulmonary foci/rat, the 20% PPP group exhibited the highest and controls the lowest frequency with the important exception of the 2% PPP + Mg++ group (large volume) which exhibited the lowest frequency of all treatment groups. In general, the presence of Mg++ resulted in marked decreases in mean number of pulmonary foci/rat compared to groups fed PPP without the Mg++ supplement. Similar results were obtained when foci were quantitated in terms of metastic volume rather than frequency. The results of this laboratory animal study suggest that to show effective inhibition of metastatic dissemination of the R13762 tumor by PPP, lower doses of PPP and larger numbers of animals, to account for the high variability in the model, will be required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2603-2614
Number of pages12
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number24
StatePublished - Nov 5 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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