The antitumor effect of canthaxanthin in BALB/c mice bearing a transplantable thymoma was investigated. Male or female mice received two different doses of canthaxanthin (7 or 14 micrograms/g body wt/day) starting 15 days before tumor inoculation (7 x 10(7) cells i.p.). Canthaxanthin treatment delayed the appearance of macroscopic ascites and prolonged animal survival. This effect was dose dependent and more evident in females than in males. It appeared only when the carotenoid was administered before tumor transplantation. The antitumor efficacy of the carotenoid was related to its tissue incorporation. Canthaxanthin was incorporated in a dose-dependent manner in liver and thymoma cells and to a larger extent in females than in males. Our study shows the antitumor efficacy of canthaxanthin in vivo against a transplantable murine thymoma and points out the importance of dose, administration timing, and sex in the antitumor efficacy of this compound.
- antitumor effect
- thymoma cells