Biomarker and Animal Models for Assessment of Retinoid Efficacy in Cancer Chemoprevention

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Vitamin A is essential for normal growth and development. Epidemiology and laboratory studies suggest that decreased vitamin A levels and defective metabolism/action may contribute to the genesis of certain cancers. Based on this information, natural and synthetic derivatives of vitamin A (retinoids) have been used for chemoprevention of cancer. Retinoids have had some success in the chemoprevention of leukoplakia and in the decreased incidence of second primaries in head and neck cancer. There is little information on biomarkers that can be used to assess the efficacy of the chemopreventive activity of retinoids. The ability of retinoids to induce RARb has been consistently shown to correlate with the response of cells and tissues to retinoic acid, but few other biomarkers have been certified as indicators of retinoid activity. In light of the failure of the ATBC and CARET clinical intervention trials for chemoprevention of lung cancer, greater use of animal models for chemoprevention studies is necessary. The potential combination of phytochemicals that inhibit DNA methyltransferase activity with retinoids holds promise for more effective chemoprevention of retinoid-unresponsive premalignant lesions.


This is the final version of the following article: NILES, R. M. (2007), Biomarker and animal models for assessment of retinoid efficacy in cancer chemoprevention. Acta Pharmacologica Sinica, 28: 1383–1391. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-7254.2007.00685.x, which has been published at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1745-7254.2007.00685.x/abstract