Aim: This study was conducted to determine if short-term treatment of Nnitrosomethylbenzylamine (NMBA)-induced tumors in the rat esophagus with dietary freeze-dried black raspberries (FBR) would result in tumor regression and enhanced survival of the animals.
Methods: Four-week-old male Fisher-344 rats were administered an AIN-76A control diet and injected subcutaneously with 0.5 mg/kg NMBA once per week for 15 weeks. At 19 weeks, when rats had an average of 5-6 tumors (papillomas) per esophagus, they were given a control diet containing either 5%, 10%, or 20% FBR. After 7 weeks of berry treatment, all surviving rats were killed and tumor incidence, number and volume were determined.
Results: Esophageal tumor incidences, numbers and volumes in NMBA-treated rats were not influenced by any of the berry treatments. There were progressive increases in the survival of NMBA-treated rats fed 5%-20% FBR diets; however, these increases were not significant.
Conclusion: FBR at 5%, 10%, and 20% of the diet had no effect on the development of NMBA-induced tumors in the rat esophagus or on animal survival when administered for 7 weeks beginning at the papilloma stage of tumor development. Thus, FBR appear to have no therapeutic value in the treatment of esophageal tumors. In contrast, dietary FBR are highly effective in preventing the development of NMBA-induced esophageal tumors in rats when administered before and during NMBA treatment or shortly after NMBA treatment when the esophagi contain preneoplastic (dysplastic) lesions of varying degrees of severity.