Systemic retinoids in chemoprevention of non-melanoma skin cancer

Published on Wednesday, 02 September 2015


BACKGROUND: The incidence of non-melanoma skin cancer is increasing worldwide. Systemic retinoids are useful for the chemoprophylaxis of non-melanoma skin cancers. Retinoids have pleiotropic effects, but their exact cancer chemopreventive mechanism is still not clear.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to review published literature evaluating the use of oral retinoids in the chemoprevention of non-melanoma skin cancers.

METHODS: The study reviewed all relevant papers found through a search of the electronic databases MEDLINE (from 1966 to January 2008) and Embase (from 1974 to January 2008).

RESULTS/CONCLUSION: General and specific indications for retinoid chemoprophylaxis are defined. The pharmacokinetics and dose regimens of the two most commonly used oral retinoids (isotretinoin and acitretin) in the chemoprevention of non-melanoma skin cancers are presented. The use of oral retinoids is associated with adverse effects, which are discussed in detail. The future of retinoid cancer chemoprevention depends on the development and research of novel retinoids with improved bioavailability and minimized toxicity.



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See also All-Trans-Retinoic Acid (ATRA - analogues and/or derivatives).