Listed in Issue 280


XIAOLING and COLLEAGUES, 1 a Department of General Surgery , Zhongshan Hospital, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University , Shanghai , China; 2 b Shanghai Institute of Hematology and State Key Laboratory of Medical Genomics , Rui-jin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine , Shanghai , China review all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) and its role in cancer treatment.


All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), an active metabolite of vitamin A, plays important roles in cell proliferation, cell differentiation, apoptosis, and embryonic development.


The effects of ATRA are mediated by nuclear retinoid receptors as well as non-genomic signal pathway, such as mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) and protein kinase A (PKA). The great success of differentiation therapy with all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) not only improved the prognosis of APL but also spurred the studies of ATRA in the treatment of other tumours.


Since the genetic and physio-pathological simplicity of APL is not common in human malignancies, the combination of ATRA with other agents (chemotherapy, epigenetic modifiers, and arsenic trioxide, etc) had been extensively investigated in a variety of tumours.


In this review, we will discuss in details about ATRA and its role in cancer treatment.


Xiaoling Ni  1 , Guohua Hu  1 , Xun Cai  2. The success and the challenge of all-trans retinoic acid in the treatment of cancer. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. ;59(sup1):S71-S80. 2019. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2018.1509201. Epub 2018 Oct 2.

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