Induction of malignant nasal cavity tumours in Wistar rats fed Chinese salted fish

Br J Cancer. 1989 Aug;60(2):198-201. doi: 10.1038/bjc.1989.250.


Epidemiological evidence has implicated Chinese salted fish as a human nasopharyngeal carcinogen. In the present study, 221 Wistar-Kyoto rats aged 21 days were randomly assigned to one of three experimental groups. Rats in group 1 (high dose group) were fed a powder diet of one part Chinese salted fish to three parts certified rat chow during the first 18 months. Similarly, rats in group 2 (low dose group) were fed a powder diet of one part salted fish to five parts rat chow for 18 months. Rats in group 3 were given rat chow only throughout the 3-year experiment. Four malignant tumours of the nasal cavity were observed among rats fed the experimental diets (three and one respectively in the high and low dose groups). No comparable tumours were observed in controls, compatible with the historical control rate of zero. Our results, therefore, further strengthen the hypothesis that Chinese salted fish is a human nasopharyngeal carcinogen; they also establish Wistar rats as a viable animal model for carcinogenicity studies of this food in the laboratory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinoma / etiology*
  • Female
  • Fishes*
  • Male
  • Nasal Cavity
  • Nose Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Sodium, Dietary / adverse effects*


  • Sodium, Dietary