Inhibition of intestinal carcinogenesis in rats: effect of difluoromethylornithine with piroxicam or fish oil

J Natl Cancer Inst. 1986 Dec;77(6):1309-13.


An inhibitor of ornithine decarboxylase, difluoromethylornithine (DFMO), and two inhibitors of prostaglandin biosynthesis, piroxicam and menhaden fish oil, were examined for their effect on intestinal tumorigenesis in male Sprague-Dawley rats fed a 5% fat semisynthetic diet. Each agent was given individually in one of two doses as follows: DFMO, 0.05% and 0.1% in the drinking water; piroxicam, 65 mg/kg diet and 130 mg/kg diet; and menhaden fish oil, 1.25% and 2.50% of the diet. Additional animal groups were given combinations of the lower dose of DFMO and the lower dose of either piroxicam or fish oil. Intestinal tumors were induced by sc injections of azoxymethane (AOM; CAS: 25843-45-2) at 8 mg/kg (body wt) weekly for 8 weeks. Test diets were started 1 week prior to the first dose of AOM, and the rats were sacrificed 26 weeks later. Rats that received either dose of DFMO or the high dose of piroxicam developed significantly fewer intestinal tumors compared to controls. The low dose of piroxicam and the fish oil given at either dose level had no effect. The combination of the low dose of DFMO and the low dose of piroxicam reduced tumor formation more than either dose of DFMO alone, whereas the low dose of DFMO and fish oil together was no more effective than either dose of DFMO alone. These results show that a combination of a small amount of DFMO and piroxicam, each acting through a different mechanism, exerts an additive inhibitory effect on intestinal tumor formation in rats.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Diet
  • Drinking
  • Eating
  • Eflornithine / pharmacology*
  • Fish Oils / pharmacology*
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Piroxicam / pharmacology*
  • Prostaglandins / biosynthesis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Fish Oils
  • Prostaglandins
  • Piroxicam
  • Eflornithine