Effect of dietary intake of fish oil and fish protein on the development of L-azaserine-induced preneoplastic lesions in the rat pancreas

J Natl Cancer Inst. 1985 Nov;75(5):959-62. doi: 10.1093/jnci/75.5.959.


The effect of dietary intake of fish (menhaden) oil and fish (cod) protein on the development of pancreatic preneoplastic lesions was examined in male Wistar rats. Fourteen-day-old animals were given a single ip injection of 30 mg L-azaserine/kg body weight [CAS: 115-02-6; diazoacetate serine (ester)]. At 21 days of age they were weaned and maintained on dietary treatment for 4 months. Fish protein did not appear to produce a significantly different preneoplastic response when compared to casein as a protein source. However, a 20% menhaden oil diet, rich in omega 3 fatty acids, produced a significant decrease in the development of both the size and number of preneoplastic lesions when compared to a 20% corn oil diet rich in omega 6 fatty acids. This study provides evidence that fish oils, rich in omega 3 fatty acids, may have potential as inhibitory agents in cancer development.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Azaserine / toxicity*
  • Caseins / pharmacology
  • Corn Oil
  • Dietary Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Fish Oils / pharmacology*
  • Fish Products*
  • Male
  • Oils / pharmacology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Precancerous Conditions / chemically induced*
  • Precancerous Conditions / prevention & control
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Caseins
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Fish Oils
  • Oils
  • Corn Oil
  • Azaserine