Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Irvine

UC Irvine Previously Published Works bannerUC Irvine

13-Cis-retinoic acid: pharmacology, toxicology, and clinical applications for the prevention and treatment of human cancer.


Retinoids, particularly 13-cis-retinoic acid, have shown great promise against a number of benign, but serious dermatological conditions. In animal models, 13-cis-retinoic acid functions is a potent antipromoter whether a cancer has been initiated by chemical, physical, or viral agents. Additionally, substantial antiproliferative activity of this compound has been demonstrated in vitro in many culture systems. Clinical activity noted against several types of skin malignancies has led to several investigations to determine the anticancer activity of 13-cis-retinoic acid. Response of a variety of preneoplastic and neoplastic lesions of epithelial histology has been demonstrated. The toxicity of 13-cis-retinoic acid largely reflects its tissue distribution with skin and subcutaneous side-effects limiting dose escalation. The pharmacology and pharmacokinetics of 13-cis-retinoic acid has been explored in a number of patients and a long terminal half-life demonstrated. This review will discuss 13-cis-retinoic acid as a good model for a biological response modifier.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View