The administration of 4-hydroxybutyl(butyl)nitrosamine (OH-BBN) to male B6D2F1 mice yielded a high incidence of large palpable urinary bladder cancers. Since prior studies demonstrated chemopreventive effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), we further explored the efficacy of the NSAID indomethacin using different treatment regimens. OH-BBN was administered twice per week for 12 weeks (the first week of treatment was designated week 1). In Experiment I continual indomethacin treatment (20 mg/kg diet) was initiated either prior to (week -1) or following (week 13) OH-BBN dosing. Palpable bladder masses (subsequently diagnosed as cancers) developed in 32% of carcinogen-treated only mice by 32 weeks, while mice administered indomethacin either prior to or after OH-BBN developed palpable masses in 3 and 6% of the animals, respectively. In Experiment II mice were treated with indomethacin beginning 1 week after OH-BBN for either 12 weeks (limited treatment, weeks 13-24) or for 30 weeks (weeks 13-42). Continual treatment resulted in a 77% decrease in palpable bladder masses and an 82% decrease in all cancers (palpable and microscopic), while limited treatment decreased palpable masses by 48% but failed to decrease the number of bladder cancers (palpable plus microscopic). In Experiment III OH-BBN-treated mice were followed for 61 weeks. Palpable masses developed in 66% of control mice, while 26% of mice treated with indomethacin continually from 1 week after OH-BBN (weeks 13-61) developed palpable masses. A separate group in this study treated with indomethacin beginning when 5% of the mice had palpable bladder masses continued to develop new masses for an additional 4 weeks. By 6 weeks after beginning indomethacin treatment, however, these animals showed a profound decrease in the development of additional cancers. The expressions of FHIT and survivin in normal urinary bladder epithelium and in bladder cancers were determined by immunohistochemical analysis. FHIT was expressed at high levels in normal epithelium, but was minimally expressed in cancers, and even showed decreased expression in papillomas. The anti-apoptotic protein survivin was not expressed in normal bladder epithelium, but was variably expressed in cancers. FHIT and survivin expressions were similar in cancers from indomethacin-treated and non-treated mice. © Oxford University Press 2004; all rights reserved.