Studies on medicamentous inhibitory therapy for esophageal precancerous lesions--3- and 5-year inhibitory effects of antitumor-B, retinamide and riboflavin

Proc Chin Acad Med Sci Peking Union Med Coll. 1990;5(3):121-9.


Since 1983, we have been conducting inhibitory therapy for precancerous lesions of the esophagus in two regions of Henan Province considered high-risk areas of esophageal carcinoma. Our goal was to effect a 50% reduction in the canceration rate of marked esophageal dysplasia. By means of a cytological survey, 2531 cases of marked esophageal dysplasia and 3393 cases of mild esophageal dysplasia were selected. The former were randomly divided into 3 groups for antitumor-B (ATB, a mixture of Chinese herbs), retinamide (4-ethoxycarbophenylretinamide) and placebo treatment respectively, and the latter into 2 groups treated with riboflavin and placebo respectively. Treatment was continued for 3 or 5 years (administration rate greater than 90% in all groups) and esophageal cytology reexamined (reexamination rates were 94.1% and 92.5% respectively). Our results were as follows: 1) ATB 3- and 5-year subjects saw the canceration rate of marked esophageal dysplasia drop by 52.2% and 47.3% respectively as compared to control (P less than 0.01). 2) Retinamide lowered the canceration rate by 37.3% after a 3-year treatment period, with this reduction reaching 43.2% after an additional 2 years of treatment with increased dosages (P less than 0.05, P less than 0.01). 3) In the riboflavin group, the canceration rate of mild esophageal dysplasia was reduced by 22.2% and 34.8% after 3 and 5 years of treatment respectively, but these differences were not statistically significant. The above results verify the efficacy of medicamentous inhibitory therapy for esophageal precancerous lesions.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Precancerous Conditions / drug therapy*
  • Riboflavin / therapeutic use
  • Tretinoin / analogs & derivatives
  • Tretinoin / therapeutic use


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Tretinoin
  • retinamide
  • Riboflavin