MPA induces mammary tumors in virgin BALB/c mice with an average latency of 52 weeks. In order to determine whether the simultaneous administration of a chemical carcinogen, N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU), shortened the latency of MPA-induced tumors, a total of 60 virgin female BALB/c mice were treated with either MNU+MPA or MNU or MPA. The experiment lasted 7 months. The incidence and latency of mammary tumors were significantly different between the 3 groups: 15/19 (79%) in MNU+MPA-treated mice with a latency of 154±19 days; 3/20 (15%) in MNU-treated mice with a latency of 179±7 days; 0/20 (tumors only start appearing after 10 months) in MPA-treated mice. Histologically, MNU+MPA-induced tumors were similar to the few tumors observed in MNU-treated mice: most of them were type B adenocarcinomas with a high degree of necrosis and calcification. Only one of the MNU+MPA-induced tumors expressed high levels of ER and PR and proved to be MPA-responsive in further passages. All the other tumors showed low or non-detectable levels of ER and PR together with an independent pattern of tumor growth. In MNU-treated mice the only tumor that was transplanted proved to be hormone independent and had low levels of PR and ER. In both MNU and MNU+MPA treated mice lung adenocarcinomas were detected. Cystic uterine glandular hyperplasias were observed in all animals. It can be concluded that MPA and MNU potentiate their carcinogenic effect in mammary gland.