Tobacco smoke-induced lung cancer in animals--a challenge to toxicology (?).


Tobacco smoke is a known human carcinogen that primarily produces malignant lesions in the respiratory tract, although it also affects multiple other sites. A reliable and practical animal model of tobacco smoke-induced lung cancer would be helpful for in studies of product modification and chemoprevention. Over the years, many attempts to reproduce lung cancer in experimental animals exposed to tobacco smoke have been made, most often with negative or only marginally positive results. In hamsters, malignant lesions have been produced in the larynx, but not in the deeper lung. Female rats and female B6C3F1 mice, when exposed over lifetime to tobacco smoke, develop tumors in the nasal passages and also in the lung. Contrary to what is seen in human lung cancers, most rodent tumors are located peripherally and only about half of them show frank malignant features. Distant metastases are extremely rare. Male and female strain A mice exposed to 5 months to tobacco smoke and then kept for another 4 months in air respond to tobacco smoke with increased lung tumor multiplicities. However, the increase over background levels is comparatively small, making it difficult to detect significant differences when the effects of chemopreventive agents are evaluated. On the other hand, biomarkers of exposure and of effect as well as evaluation of putative carcinogenic mechanisms in rats and mice exposed to tobacco smoke allow detection of early events and their modification by different smoke types or chemopreventive agents. The challenge will be to make such data broadly acceptable and accepted in lieu of having to do more and more long term studies involving larger and larger number of animals.

Cite this paper

@article{Witschi2007TobaccoSL, title={Tobacco smoke-induced lung cancer in animals--a challenge to toxicology (?).}, author={Hanspeter R. Witschi}, journal={International journal of toxicology}, year={2007}, volume={26 4}, pages={339-44} }