A comparison has been made between the carcinogenic activities of benzo(a)pyrene and the proposed proximate carcinogen, benzo(a)pyrene 7,8-dihydrodiol, in the adult C57BL mouse submandibular salivary gland. In preliminary studies using a range of doses, the dihydrodiol was slightly less active than the parent hydrocarbon in this system. There was a difference in the type of tumour induced by the 2 compounds. Benzo(a)pyrene induced tumours of the salivary glands at the site of injection, whereas the dihydrodiol induced malignant lymphosarcomas, particularly of the thymus, which were often metastatic to other orgnas. Possible reasons for the different sites of action of the 2 compounds are discussed
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