A Systems Modeling Approach to the Study of Retinoid Function: Implications for Evaluation of Retinoids in Cancer Chemoprevention and/or Chemotherapy

  • Kevin C. Lewis
  • James F. Hochadel
  • Loren A. ZechJr.
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 537)


Vitamin A-related compounds (retinoids) play critical roles in cell growth and differentia-tion (Roberts and Sporn, 1984). Since unregulated cell growth and differentiation are factors associated with most types of cancer, there has been a great deal of effort put into understanding the complex relationship between retinoids and various carcinogenic processes. An emerging body of evidence supports the notion that important relationships exist between retinoids and different types of cancer. Critical roles for naturally occurring-and synthetic retinoids in the prevention and/or therapy of certain cancers have been demonstrated in a wide variety of epidemiological, laboratory, and clinical studies (Lotan, 1980; Roberts and Sporn, 1984; Hong and Itri, 1994; Moon et al., 1994). However, human trials using retinoids in chemoprevention and/or chemotherapy programs have yielded mixed results. The reasons for this are not entirely clear. However, one likely problem is the relative paucity of information in a number of areas related to basic retinoid functioning and interactions. The importance of delineating the basic functions and interactions of the native and synthetic variants of retinoids, preferably in the physiological milieux in which they would normally exist, is of paramount importance if we are to more clearly understand the relationship between retinoids and carcinogenic processes. This is essentially the rationale we have used to guide and focus our research efforts. To obtain basic information on retinoid function and interactions, we have made extensive use of mathematical/compartmental modeling techniques not only to obtain critical information in this area, but also to optimize our experimental design and resources and thereby help to direct our research efforts appropriately.


LNCaP Cell Tissue Culture System Retinyl Palmitate Retinyl Ester Synthetic Retinoid 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin C. Lewis
    • 1
  • James F. Hochadel
    • 2
  • Loren A. ZechJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Drug-Nutrient Interactions Group, Basic Research Laboratory, National Cancer InstituteNational Institutes of HealthFrederick
  2. 2.Intramural Research Support Program-Science Applications International Corp.Frederick

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