All-trans-retinoic acid and cancer

Published on Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Tretinoin, also known as all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA), is a naturally occurring derivative of vitamin A (retinol). Retinoids such as tretinoin are important regulators of cell reproduction, proliferation, and differentiation. Tretinoin also represents the class of anticancer drugs called differentiating agents.


All-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA - analogues and/or derivatives) and cancer


All-trans-retinoic acid is a derivative of Vitamin A by substitution of the terminal alcoholic radical OH with the carboxyl radical COOH.

Together with other Retinoids, ATRA has been included in the Di Bella Method (DBM) antitumor protocol for decades, but only in recent years has been "discovered" by medical and scientific research with a particularly wide and growing range of both clinical and experimental studies, which have confirmed its full valence both preventive and therapeutic efficacy on cancer.

Particularly numerous are the works published on the effectiveness of Retinoic Acid (analogues and/or derivatives), i.e.In Vitro, In Vivo (Animal Only), Review, Editorial, Meta-Analysis and In Vivo (Human Only), used either alone or in combination with other active principles, in all epithelial neoplastic pathologies. Therefore, its activity extends to the respiratory, digestive, genitourinary/urogenital, tegumental and exocrine gland systems, including the skin and its appendages.

It has been recently ascertained its effectiveness in various leukemic forms, in particular in the acute promyelocytic one.

Its anticancer action/activity, similarly to other Retinoids, extends to all tumor forms and is exerted through mechanisms which are anti-proliferative, pro-differentiating, anti-metastatic, pro-apoptopic (i.e. programmed tumor cell death induction) and anti-angiogenic.

These mechanisms are synergic and strengthen those induced by Vitamin D3, Vitamin E, Somatostatin, Melatonin and Bromocriptin (or alternatively Cabergolin). Moreover, Retinoic Acid plays a key role in strengthening the integrity and efficiency of all epithelia and of the immune system.


Retinoids - Interview with Dr. Fadlo Khuri


Retinoid pathway alterations related to breast cancer

Download the complete article


Only In Vitro Research (Isolated organs, tissues, cells, or biochemical systems - IUPAC Gold Book definition)


In Vivo (Animal Only)




Editorial - Letter to the Editor




In Vivo (Human Only: Case Reports/Series, Clinical Trials, Comparative Studies, Randomized Controlled Trials and Retrospective Studies)