Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS) in Biology




"Tamoxifen (TAM) is used widely for treatment and prevention of breast cancer. However, TAM has been reported to have a negative effect on glutathione (GSH) levels and 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG). Thymoquinone (TQ), the main active ingredient of Nigella sativa, or Black seeds, is used in the Middle East for treatment of several diseases, especially cancer. The aim of my research was to investigate the role of thymoquinone in improving 8-OHdG and GSH compared with tamoxifen in female Sprague Dawley rats treated with 7,12 dimethylbenz (a)anthracene (DMBA, a drug that induces mammary cancer). 8-OHdG is the most commonly assayed fingerprint of free radical attack on DNA and is involved in tumor progression. Five groups of 10 rats (Controls, DMBA, TAM, TQ, and TAM+TQ) were treated for 10 weeks after injection of DMBA. Tumors were found in only two DMBA treated rats. However, there was a coloration observed in the mammary glands in another four of the DMBA treated rats. There were no mammary gland changes in the other four groups. 8-OHdG in blood samples was significantly higher in the TAM group compared with the TQ (P <0.001), the controls (P= 0.008) and the DMBA (P=0.041) treated groups. TQ significantly decreased 8-OHdG by itself compared with DMBA (P= 0.039) and TAM, but did not significantly reduce the effect of TAM in the TAM+TQ group. On the other hand, GSH did not differ among treatments. The data for body weight gain over 12 weeks showed a significant difference among the groups (P<0.001). The TAM and TAM+TQ groups had the lowest weight gain compared with the TQ, the control and the DMBA (P<0.01) treated groups. I conclude that TQ could be a better anticancer drug than TAM because it decreased 8-OHdG and protected growth"--Document.


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