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A 4-week assay for screening tumor promoters of bladder cancer has been developed in which increased agglutinability of isolated rat bladder cells with concanavalin A is used as an indicator. On the basis of this assay system, L-isoleucine and L-leucine were suspected of being possible tumor promoters. Results of 40- to 60-week carcinogenesis experiments in which N-butyl-N-(4-hydroxybutyl)nitrosamine was used as an initiator demonstrate that L-isoleucine and L-leucine promote bladder cancer in rats. This finding may be relevant to the high incidence of human bladder cancer in Western countries, where the diet is rich in protein.

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