Chemoprevention of oral cancer by topical application of black raspberries on high at-risk mucosa

Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol. 2014 Dec;118(6):674-83. doi: 10.1016/j.oooo.2014.09.005. Epub 2014 Sep 16.


Objective: To evaluate the preclinical efficacy of topical administration of freeze-dried black raspberries (BRBs) to inhibit the progression of premalignant oral lesions and modulate biomarkers of cancer development in high at-risk mucosa (HARM).

Study design: Hamster cheek pouches (HCPs) were treated with carcinogen for 6 weeks to initiate a HARM microenvironment. Subsequently, right HCPs were topically administered a BRB suspension in short-term or long-term studies. After 12 weeks, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) multiplicity, SCC incidence, and cell proliferation rates were evaluated. mRNA expression was measured in short-term treated pouches for selected oral cancer biomarkers.

Results: SCC multiplicity (-41.3%), tumor incidence (-37.1%), and proliferation rate (-6.9%) were reduced in HCPs receiving BRBs. Topical BRBs correlated with an increase in RB1 expression in developing oral lesions.

Conclusions: Topical BRBs inhibit SCC development when targeted to HARM tissues. These results support the translational role of BRBs to prevent oral cancer development in humans.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / prevention & control*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Chemoprevention / methods*
  • Cricetinae
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Progression
  • Male
  • Mouth Mucosa / drug effects*
  • Mouth Mucosa / pathology
  • Mouth Neoplasms / pathology
  • Mouth Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Precancerous Conditions / drug therapy*
  • Rubus*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor