Abstract N-methyl- N-nitrosourea (MNU) was instilled by a urethral catheter into the urinary bladders of female Wistar rats in weekly doses of 0.5 mg for 1, 2, 3 and 4 weeks. At 75 weeks after the initial dose of MNU, the incidences of bladder cancer were 0, 7, 50 and 64% for the total doses of MNU of 0.5, 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0 mg, respectively. Control rats instilled with 0.9% NaCl only for 1–4 weeks did not develop bladder cancer by 75 weeks. Higher doses of MNU of 4.0 and 6.0 mg, given weekly in 0.5 mg amounts for 8 and 12 weeks, respectively, induced a higher incidence (nearly 90%) of urinary bladder cancer in rats at 22–28 weeks. However, it was shown that control rats given 12 weekly installations of solvent only developed a significant number (33%) of bladder cancers by 22–28 weeks.