August 18, 1978

Medical News

JAMA. 1978;240(7):609-615. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290070011002

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Retinoid chemoprevention trial begins against bladder cancer  A clinical chemoprevention trial in which a synthetic analogue of vitamin A called 13-cis-retinoic acid will be administered orally to volunteers who are at high risk of bladder cancer begins late this summer.Both the synthetic and natural forms of vitamin A make up a family of compounds known as the retinoids. One of the persons active in retinoid research is Michael B. Sporn, MD, chief of the Lung Cancer Branch at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). He summarizes the hypothesis about their anti-cancer potential this way:"Retinoids essentially are hormone-like agents that influence normal cell maturation and differentiation in the epithelial lining of most human organ sites where cancers develop. So we're using these agents, which promote normal cell differentiation, to counteract the abnormal cell differentiation that's part of the malignant process."This experimental therapy is called chemoprevention because