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Retinoids may play role in cancer therapy response

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A recent meta-analysis analyzed the efficacy of retinoids for the prevention and treatment of cancers.

A literature search identified 39 randomized controlled trials including 15,627 patients. In patients with cancer or premalignancy treated with retinoids there were statistically significant lower recurrence rates and better clinical responses compared to control patients. However, overall survival, cancer development, disease progression, and event-free survival were not found to be improved with retinoid treatment.

The following cancer types were found to have benefited from retinoids treatment:
-Acute promyelocytic leukemia
-Renal cell carcinoma
-Hepatocellular carcinoma
-Lung cancer
-Kaposi sarcoma
-Complete hydatidiform mole

No significant therapeutic effect was found in the following cancer types:
-Head and neck cancer
-Acute myeloid leukemia
-Breast cancer
-Bladder cancer
-Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia
-Cervical carcinoma

In a subgroup analysis, patients with solid cancers treated with retinoids had a lower recurrence rate and better clinical response than the control group.

Chen S, Hu Q, Tao X, et al. Retinoids in cancer chemoprevention and therapy: Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Front Genet. 2022;13:1065320. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2022.1065320. PMID: 36437918; PMCID: PMC9681997.