Inhibition of mammary tumorigenesis in the C3(1)/SV40 mouse model by green tea

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2008 Feb;107(3):359-69. doi: 10.1007/s10549-007-9568-x. Epub 2007 May 5.


Previous studies show inhibitory effects of green tea in chemically induced mammary tumors or human tumor explants, but not in spontaneous tumor models that are more representative of human breast cancer. The C3(1)/SV40 mouse model is particularly suited for breast cancer prevention studies because it produces spontaneous ductal adenocarcinomas and a predictable time course for mammary tumorigenesis through a multistage progression similar to that occurring in humans. We therefore used this model to test the chemoprotective effects of green tea. Administration of 0.5% Polyphenon E (Poly E) (a standardized preparation of green tea extract) in drinking water delayed tumor onset and suppressed tumor growth by 40%, compared to tap water-fed animals, with no adverse side effects. Histological analysis of mammary glands showed that green tea slowed the progression of ductal lesions to advanced mammary intraepithelial neoplasias and suppressed tumor invasiveness. Green tea inhibited the proliferation of ductal epithelial cells and tumors and, overall, disrupted post-pubertal ductal growth. Immunohistochemical analyses also demonstrated that green tea inhibited angiogenesis through a decrease in both ductal epithelial and stromal VEGF expression and a decrease in intratumoral microvascular density. Our data strongly support the potential use of green tea as a breast cancer chemopreventive agent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Polyomavirus Transforming / genetics
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammary Glands, Animal / pathology
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / prevention & control*
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Tea*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / antagonists & inhibitors


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Antigens, Polyomavirus Transforming
  • Tea
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A