Highly metastatic melanoma is resistant to existing therapies. Our main objective was to investigate the effect of a nutrient mixture (NM) on B16FO tumor growth and hepatic metastasis. Tumor growth was studied in athymic nude male mice, 5-6 weeks old, inoculated with 10(6) B16FO melanoma cells subcutaneously and fed either a regular diet or one supplemented with 0.5% NM. Four weeks later, the mice were sacrificed and their tumors excised, weighed and processed for histology. Metastasis was studied in C57BL/6 mice, which received 10(6) B16FO melanoma cells by intrasplenic injection, as well as a regular or 0.5% NM-supplemented diet for 2 weeks. Survival was studied in C57BL/6 mice receiving 10(6) B16FO melanoma cells intraperitoneally (i.p.) followed by the regular, NM-supplemented, or regular diet in addition to being administered with 2 mg NM injection 3 times per week. NM inhibited the growth of B16FO melanoma cells by 50%. Lesions in the two groups were consistent with malignant melanoma. Mice were injected with B16FO cells in the spleen. Those fed the regular diet developed large black spleens and livers indicating growth in the spleen and metastasis to the liver. In contrast, mice supplemented with NM showed less growth in spleen, but also reduced metastasis to the liver. The survival time of mice receiving NM supplementation and B16FO cells i.p. was greater than in mice which were fed the regular diet. To confirm effects in vivo, we investigated the effect of NM on murine B16FO melanoma cells in vitro, including cell proliferation by MTT assay, morphology by hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining and apoptosis using live green caspase detection kit. In vitro, NM was not toxic at 100 microg/ml concentration, but exhibited 44% toxicity over the control at 500 and 1000 microg/ml. H&E did not indicate any changes up to 100 microg/ml. NM induced slight apoptosis at 100 microg/ml, moderate at 500 and extensive at 1000 microg/ml concentration.