Inhibition of carcinogenic effects of polycyclic hydrocarbons by benzyl isothiocyanate and related compounds

J Natl Cancer Inst. 1977 Feb;58(2):395-8. doi: 10.1093/jnci/58.2.395.


Benzyl isothiocyanate and phenethyl isothiocyanate, two compounds found in cruciferous plants, and phenyl isothiocyanate, a synthetic compound, all inhibit 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (CMBA)-induced mammary tumor formation in female Sprague-Dawley rats when administered 4 hours prior to the DMBA. Comparable studies in which benzyl isothiocyanate was administered 24 hours before or 4 hours after DMBA showed almost complete loss of inhibition. Additions of benzyl isothiocyanate or phenethyl isothiocyanate to a diet containing CMBA inhibited formation of neoplasms of the forestomach and pulmonary adenomas in female ICR/Ha mice. Addition of benzyl isothiocyanate to a diet containing benzo[a]pyrene also inhibited carcinogenesis of the mouse forestomach due to this carcinogen. The finding of two additional anutrient dietary compounds which inhibit chemical carcinogenesis focuses on the possibility that dietary constituents of this nature may diminish the impact of exposures to chemical carcinogens.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 9,10-Dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Benz(a)Anthracenes / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Benzopyrenes / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Diet
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / chemically induced*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / chemically induced
  • Rats
  • Stomach Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Thiocyanates / administration & dosage
  • Thiocyanates / pharmacology*


  • Benz(a)Anthracenes
  • Benzopyrenes
  • Thiocyanates
  • 9,10-Dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene