Effects of two clinically used liquid diets on toxicity and antitumor activity of methotrexate (MTX) were investigated in Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats and tumor-bearing mice, respectively. Diets tested were commercially available formulas enriched either with soybean and omega-3 fatty acids or with casein. The soybean-containing diet offered significant protection against MTX toxicity in rats compared with the casein-containing diet, completely alleviating MTX-induced anorexia, diarrhea, and weight loss, when ingested as the sole diet and fed 7 days prior to and 7 days following intraperitoneal MTX injection. As a result, 90% of rats were alive on soybean-containing diet while all rats were dead on casein-containing diet. Histologic examination of the small intestine of MTX-treated rats revealed that the soybean-containing diet significantly prevented loss of mucosal villus tips compared to the casein-containing diet. Pharmocokinetic examination indicated that plasma MTX concentrations were similar for rats in the two diet-defined groups. No significant differences were observed between diets in survival of mice injected with L1210 mouse leukemia cells and subsequently with MTX. Thus the soybean-containing diet appeared to be superior to the casein-containing diet in preventing gastrointestinal toxicity while preserving antitumor activity. A soybean diet enriched in ω-3 fatty acids may be a useful adjunct to MTX treatment of human cancers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research