Retinoids as modulators of tumor cells invasion and metastasis

Semin Cancer Biol. 1991 Jun;2(3):197-208.


Retinoids, natural and synthetic analogues of vitamin A, have demonstrated promising results in pre-clinical and clinical trials of cancer prevention and therapy. This chapter reviews the ability of retinoids to suppress tumor growth and metastasis in vivo and to inhibit invasion in vitro. The mechanisms of these effects include suppression of growth and enhancement of differentiation of malignant cells, inhibition of their ability to produce degradative enzymes required for invasion, suppression of migration, inhibition of neovascularization, and augmentation of host anti-tumor immune responses.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / drug effects
  • Glycosylation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis*
  • Rats
  • Retinoids / immunology
  • Retinoids / pharmacokinetics*


  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Retinoids