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Semin Oncol. 2006 Feb;33(1 Suppl 3):S7-10.

Therapeutic advances in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL): from retinoids to rexinoids.

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  • 1Hautklinik, Klinikum Minden, Germany.


Retinoids comprise a family of polyisoprenoid lipids that include vitamin A (retinol) and its various natural and synthetic analogues. Retinoids are compounds with multiple actions. They are involved in the control of cell proliferation, cell differentiation, and embryonic development. Each retinoid has its own profile of pharmacologic properties that determines its usefulness in clinical dermatology or oncology. Although numerous synthetic retinoids have been synthesized, their biological activities are usually associated with clinical disadvantages such as toxicity and teratogenicity. Retinoids that bind to both the retinoic acid receptor and retinoid X receptor subtypes have shown clinical activity in hematologic malignancies and can mediate genes associated with both growth and differentiation. Retinoid X receptor-specific rexinoids have also shown efficacy in the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphomas, but their exact mechanism of action is unclear. This article summarizes the clinical relevance of both groups of compounds in this important patient population.

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