The modification effects of freeze-dried aloe (Aloe arborescens) whole leaf powder during the initiation phase of carcinogenesis were investigated in hamsters treated with N-nitrosobis(2-oxopropyl)amine (BOP). Female Syrian hamsters were given four weekly subcutaneous injections of BOP at a dose of 10mg/kg and then given 0, 1 or 5% aloe in their diet for 5 weeks. At week 54 of the experiment, all surviving animals were sacrificed and development of neoplastic and preneoplastic lesions was assessed histopathologically. The incidences of pancreatic adenocarcinomas, atypical hyperplasias or total atypical hyperplasias plus adenocarcinomas were significantly (P<0.05) decreased with BOP+5% aloe, and that of adenocarcinomas were also significantly (P<0.05) reduced in the BOP+1% aloe as compared to the BOP alone group. Multiplicities of pancreatic adenocarcinomas, atypical hyperplasias or total lesions were also significantly (P<0.01 or P<0.05) lower in the BOP+5% aloe group than with the BOP alone. Quantitative data for neoplastic lesions in the lung, liver, gall bladder, kidney and urinary bladder of hamsters were not significantly different among the three groups. In a satellite experiment, pretreatment with aloe significantly (P<0.01) reduced the formation of O6-methyldeoxyguanosine in epithelial cells of pancreatic ducts as compared to the BOP alone value. Our results thus indicate that aloe prevents BOP-induced pancreatic neoplasia in hamsters in relation to decreased DNA adduct formation in the target tissue.