Effects of progesterone on ovarian tumorigenesis in xenografted mice

Cancer Lett. 2005 Apr 18;221(1):49-53. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2004.09.011.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinoma / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Progesterone / pharmacology*
  • Time Factors
  • Transplantation, Heterologous
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Progesterone