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J R Soc Med. 1981 January; 74(1): 56–59.
PMCID: PMC1438336

N-nitrosomethylurea-induced rat mammary tumours as models of human breast cancer.


A histopathological study is reported of the autopsy finding in two strains of rats treated with N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU). The induced mammary tumours were histologically indistinguishable from those produced by dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA). A number of other primary tumours were found and there was no evidence of metastases.

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Selected References

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  • Gullino PM, Pettigrew HM, Grantham FH. N-nitrosomethylurea as mammary gland carcinogen in rats. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1975 Feb;54(2):401–414. [PubMed]
  • HUGGINS C, GRAND LC, BRILLANTES FP. Mammary cancer induced by a single feeding of polymucular hydrocarbons, and its suppression. Nature. 1961 Jan 21;189:204–207. [PubMed]
  • Rudland PS, Ormerod EJ, Paterson FC. Stem cells in rat mammary development and cancer: a review. J R Soc Med. 1980 Jun;73(6):437–442. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • SHAY H, AEGERTER EA, et al. Development of adenocarcinoma of the breast in the Wistar rat following the gastric instillation of methylcholanthrene. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1949 Oct;10(2):255–266. [PubMed]

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