Tamoxifen (TAM) is a non-steroidal anti-estrogen used to treat patients with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer and as a chemopreventive agent against breast cancer in high risk pre- and post-menopausal women. However, recent studies have shown that tamoxifen causes endometrial and hepatic cancer. In this study, we examined the effects of tamoxifen (5, 10, 25 and 50 μM) on the growth and proliferation of nine tumoral cell lines (UACC62, MCF-7, NCI-460, K-562, OVCAR-03, PC-03, HT-29, 786-0, NCI-ADR) and non-tumoral cell lines (3T3, V79, MDCK, VERO). Chinese hamster lung fibroblasts (V79) were the most sensitive lineage to tamoxifen, with 21.6% of the cells showing apoptosis at 50 μM TAM. Microscopic analysis showed that, the cellular transformation caused by TAM in V79 cells was similar to that seen with 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene, thus indicating the carcinogenicity of TAM.