The multistep process of oral carcinogenesis provides a biological rationale for the use of chemoprevention in individuals at increased risk of developing oral cancer. We aimed to determine if low doses of propranolol can prevent the development of oral cancer using a tobacco-relevant and p53-associated animal model of cancer initiation. Twenty-six Wistar rats were randomly allocated into two groups, vehicle, and propranolol. All animals received 4-nitroquinoline N-oxide (4NQO) at 25 ppm diluted in the drinking water for 20 weeks. Animals from the propranolol group received propranolol (0.1 mg/kg) 5 days per week by gavage for 18 weeks. The clinical analysis was performed by measuring the area of the lesion and assessment of scores based on lesion appearance (papule; plaque; nodule or ulcerated). Histopathological analysis was performed to determine the presence of epithelial dysplasia or invasive squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). The average lesion area in 4NQO + vehicle and in 4NQO + propranolol groups were 0.20 and 0.28 mm2, respectively (P = 0.53). The percentage of cases clinically graded as papules, thick plaques, nodular areas, and ulcerated lesions was similar between groups (P = 0.94). Histopathological diagnosis also did not differ between groups (P = 0.65), with 54.5 and 70% of cases being diagnosed as SCC in 4NQO and in 4NQO + propranolol groups, respectively. In conclusion, daily doses propranolol at 0.1 mg/kg were not as effective as a chemopreventive therapy in an animal model of 4NQO-induced carcinogenesis.
Eur J Cancer Prev (European journal of cancer prevention : the official journal of the European Cancer Prevention Organisation (ECP))
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