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Vitamin A and cancer

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007246

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Lancet Oncol. 2005 Sep;6(9):712-20. Retinoic acid and retinoid receptors: potential chemopreventive and therapeutic role in cervical cancer. Abu J1, Batuwangala M, Herbert K, Symonds P. Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Radiation and Oxidative Stress Group, Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine, University Hospitals of Leicester, UK. Jafaru.abu@uhl-tr.nhs.uk

Retinoids are natural and synthetic derivatives of vitamin A, which can be obtained from animal products (milk, liver, beef, fish oils, and eggs) and vegetables (carrots, mangos, sweet potatoes, and spinach). Retinoids regulate various important cellular functions in the body through specific nuclear retinoic-acid receptors and retinoid-X receptors, which are encoded by separate genes.

Retinoic-acid receptors specifically bind tretinoin and alitretinoin, whereas retinoid-X receptors bind only alitretinoin. Retinoids have long been established as crucial for several essential life processes-healthy growth, vision, maintenance of tissues, reproduction, metabolism, tissue differentiation (normal, premalignant cells, and malignant cells), haemopoiesis, bone development, spermatogenesis, embryogenesis, and overall survival.

Therefore, deficiency of vitamin A can lead to various unwanted biological effects. Several experimental and epidemiological studies have shown the antiproliferative activity of retinoids and their potential use in cancer treatment and chemoprevention. Emerging clinical trials have shown the chemotherapeutic and chemopreventive potential of retinoids in cancerous and precancerous conditions of the uterine cervix. In this review, we explore the potential chemopreventive and therapeutic roles of retinoids in preinvasive and invasive cervical neoplasia.

PMID: 16129372

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PubMed

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