Comparison of the skin tumor-promoting potential of different organic peroxides in SENCAR mice

I. B. Gimenez-Conti, R. L. Binder, D. Johnston, T. J. Slaga

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24 Scopus citations


The skin tumor-promoting activities of three organic peroxides were evaluated and compared to the activity of benzoyl peroxide, a well-characterized tumor promoter. Two of the compounds (di-t-butyl peroxide and dicumyl peroxide) were dialkyl peroxides and the other (di-m-chlorobenzoyl peroxide) was a diacyl peroxide. These compounds were selected based on a previous study in which we evaluated their capacity to induce epidermal hyperplasia, ornithine decarboxylase activity, and dark basal keratinocytes, which have been reliable short-term markers of tumor promotion. Dicumyl peroxide was a weak tumor promoter despite its high activity in inducing hyperplasia. Like benzoyl peroxide, di-m-chlorobenzoyl peroxide generally had intermediate activity as an inducer of short-term markers of tumor promotion and was a moderately effective tumor promoter. However, compared to benzoyl peroxide, di-m-chlorobenzoyl peroxide was more toxic to the skin, which may have limited its tumor-promoting activity. The final compound, di-t-butyl peroxide, which was essentially inactive in short-term assays, was also totally inactive in promoting papillomas or carcinomas in initiated skin. Tumor-promoting efficacy generally showed an inverse association with thermal stability for the compounds tested, suggesting that the rate of formation of free radicals is a key factor contributing to tumor promotion by organic peroxides. However, a number of other factors can potentially affect the activity of different organic peroxides as tumor promoters. Each compound evaluated had a different spectrum of activities, and these compounds should be useful for studying mechanisms of organic peroxide-induced tumor promotion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-79
Number of pages7
JournalToxicology and Applied Pharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology


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