Agents and Actions

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 172–175 | Cite as

Retinoic acid: Topical treatment of senile or actinic keratoses and basal cell carcinomas

  • W. Bollag
  • F. Ott
Research Reports


Topically applied retinoic acid induces partial or complete clinical regressions of senile or actinic keratoses as well as of basal cell carcinomas of the skin. 15 out of 16 treated basal cell carcinomas regressed by more than 50%, regressions being complete in 5 cases. The mode of action of retinoic acid on premalignant and malignant lesions is discussed.


Carcinoma Cell Carcinoma Retinoic Acid Basal Cell Malignant Lesion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    E. W. Chu andR. A. Malmgren,An Inhibitory Effect of Vitamin A on the Induction of Tumors of Forestomach and Cervix in the Syrian Hamster by Carcinogenic Polycyclic Hydrocarbons, Cancer Res.25, 884–895 (1965).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. [2]
    R. E. Davies,Effect of Vitamin A on 7,12-Dimethyl-Benz(a) Anthracene-Induced Papillomas in Rhino Mouse Skin, Cancer Res.27, 237–241 (1967).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. [3]
    N. H. Rowe andR. J. Gorlin,The Effect of Vitamin A Deficiency upon Experimental Oral Carcinogenesis, J. Dent. Res.38, 72–83 (1959).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. [4]
    U. Saffiotti, R. Montesano, A. R. Sellakumar andS. A. Borg,Experimental Cancer of the Lung. Inhibition by Vitamin A of the Induction of Tracheobronchial Squamous Metaplasia and Squamous Cell Tumors, Cancer20, 857–864 (1967).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. [5]
    D. Schmähl, personal communication.Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    E. Anton andD. Brandes,Lysosomes in Mice Mammary Tumors Treated with Cyclophosphamide, Distribution related to course of Disease, Cancer21, 483–500 (1968).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. [7]
    M. H. Cohen andP. P. Carbone,Enhancement of Antitumor Effect of Alkylating Agents by Vitamin A, Proc. Am. Assoc. Cancer Res. (1969)10, 14.Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    W. Bollag, unpublished results.Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    K. W. Kalkoff andH. Conraths,Zur peroralen Vitamin-A-Therapie von Dermatosen, Münch. med. Wschr.98, 1129–1135 (1956).Google Scholar
  10. [10]
    L. E. Savitt andM. E. Obermayer,Treatment of Acne Vulgaris and Senile Keratosis with Vitamin A: Results of a Clinical Experiment, J. Investig. Dermatol.14, 283–289 (1950).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. [11]
    G. Scherber,Zur Wirkung von Vitaminen auf Hyperkeratosen der Haut, Wien. med. Wschr.93, 273–278 (1943).Google Scholar
  12. [12]
    H. Cramer,Wachstumssteuerung gefährdeter Epithelialgebiete, Dtsch. med. Wschr.68, 809–814 (1942).Google Scholar
  13. [13]
    H. Cramer,Humorale und hormonale Wachstumsanregung und der Versuch ihrer Hemmung, Zschr. f. Geburtshilfe und Gynäkol.124, 330–341 (1942).Google Scholar
  14. [14]
    M. N. Hyams andO. H. Bloom,Leucoplakia Vulvae. Its Etiology and Results of Treatment with Vitamin A. Preliminary Report, Am. J. Obst. and Gynecol.53, 214–220 (1947).Google Scholar
  15. [15]
    D. Kuncs,Vitaminbehandlung des Pruritus, der Leukoplakia und Craurosis vulvae, Zentr. bl. Gynäkol.63, 1748–1758 (1941).Google Scholar
  16. [16]
    D. Kuncs,Weitere Beobachtungen über die Vitaminbehandlung des Pruritus, der Leukoplakie und Craurosis vulvae, Zentr. bl. Gynäkol.64, 922–927 (1942).Google Scholar
  17. [17]
    A Study of the Effects of High Doses of Vitamin A on Oral Leukoplakia (Hyperkeratosis), Including Toxicity, Liver Function and Skeletal Metabolism, J. Oral Therap. and Pharm.2, 9–23 (1965).Google Scholar
  18. [18]
    K. Wulf,Zur Vitamin-A-Behandlung der Leukoplakien, Dermatol. Wschr.134, 1294 (1956).Google Scholar
  19. [19]
    K. Wulf,Zur Vitamin-A-Behandlung der Leukoplakien, Arch. klin. exp. Dermatol.206, 495–498 (1957).CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. [20]
    F. Fleck,Behandlung der Röntgenkarzinome durch Hypervitaminisierung mit Axerophtholen, Dermatol. Wschr.130, 1244–1254 (1954).Google Scholar
  21. [21]
    J. A. Schneider,Über die A-Übervitaminose und ihre therapeutischen Möglichkeiten, Ärztl. Wschr.7, 792–795 (1952).Google Scholar
  22. [22]
    G. Stüttgen,Zur Lokalbehandlung von Keratosen mit Vitamin-A-Säure, Dermatologica124, 65–80 (1962).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. [23]
    P. Beer,Untersuchung über die Wirkung der Vitamin-A-Säure, Dermatologica124, 192–195 (1962).Google Scholar
  24. [24]
    J. Thomson andJ. A. Milne,The Use of Retinoic Acid in Congenital Ichthyosiform Erythroderma, Br. J. Derm.81, 452–455 (1969).Google Scholar
  25. [25]
    P. Frost andG. D. Weinstein,Topical Administration of Vitamin A Acid for Ichthyosiform Dermatoses and Psoriasis, J. Amer. Med. Assoc.207, 1863–1868 (1969).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. [26]
    J. E. Fulton, P. R. Gross, C. E. Cornelius andA. M. Kligman,Darier's Disease. Treatment with Topical Vitamin A Acid, Arch. Derm.98, 396–399 (1968).CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. [27]
    A. M. Kligman, J. E. Fulton andG. Plewig,Topical Vitamin A Acid in Acne Vulgaris, Arch. Derm.99, 469–476 (1969).CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. [28]
    J. E. Dowling andG. Wald,The Biological Function of Vitamin A Acid, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci.46, 587–608 (1960).Google Scholar
  29. [29]
    W. Boguth, V. Horn, M. K. Solliman undH. Weiser,Eine neue Methode zur Bestimmung kurz wirksamer Vitamin-A-Präparate, Internat. Z. Vitamin-forsch.31, 6–10 (1960).Google Scholar
  30. [30]
    J. McC. Howell, J. N. Thompson andG. A. Pitt,Histology of the Lesions Produced in the Reproductive Tract of Animals Fed a Diet Deficient in Vitamin A Alcohol but Containing Vitamin A Acid. I. The Male Rat, J. Reprod. Fertil.5, 159–167 (1963).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. [31]
    J. McC. Howell, J. N. Thompson andG. A. Pitt,Histology of the Lesions Produced in the Reproductive Tract of Animals Fed a Diet Deficient in Vitamin A Alcohol but Containing Vitamin A Acid. II. The Female Rat, J. Reprod. Fertil.7, 251–258 (1964).Google Scholar
  32. [32]
    D. S. Deshmukh, P. Malathi andJ. Ganguly,Rapid Conversion of Retinal to Retinoic Acid in the Living Rat, Biochim. et Biophys. Acta107, 120–122 (1965).Google Scholar
  33. [33]
    P. E. Dunagin, R. D. Zachman andJ. A. Olson,The Identification of Metabolites of Retinal and Retinoic Acid in Rat Bile, Biochim. et Biophys. Acta124, 71–85 (1966).Google Scholar
  34. [34]
    A. B. Roberts andH. F. DeLuca,Pathways of Retinol and Retinoic Acid Metabolism in the Rat, Biochem. J.102, 600–605 (1967).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. [35]
    R. J. Emerick, M. Zile andH. F. DeLuca,Formation of Retinoic Acid from Retinol in the Rat, Biochem. J.102, 606–611 (1967).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. [36]
    I. Lasnitzki,Growth Pattern of the Mouse Prostate Gland in Organ Culture and its Response to Sex Hormones, Vitamin A and 3-Methylcholanthrene, Natl. Cancer Inst. Monograph No. 12, Biology of prostate and related tissues, p. 381–403 (1963).Google Scholar
  37. [37]
    J. T. Dingle,Action of Vitamin A on the Stability of Lysosomes in vivo and in vitro, in: Lysosomes, Ciba Foundation Symposium, Editores A. V. S. de Renck and M. P. Cameron. Little, Brown & Co., Boston 1963, p. 384–398.Google Scholar
  38. [38]
    J. A. Lucy andJ. T. Dingle,Fat-Soluble Vitamins and Biological Membranes, Nature204, 156–160 (1964).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. [39]
    J. T. Dingle andJ. A. Lucy,Vitamin A, Carotenoids and Cell Function, Biol. Rev.40, 422–461 (1965).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. [40]
    D. Brandes andE. Anton,The Role of Lysosomes in Cellular Lytic Processes. III Electron Histochemical Changes in Mammary Tumors after Treatment with Cytoxan and Vitamin A, Lab. Investig.15, 987–1006 (1966).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. [41]
    E. Anton andD. Brandes,Studies of L1210 Leukemia. IV Ultrastructural Findings after in vitro Treatment with Cyclophosphamide and Vitamin A, Exp. Molec. Path.7, 156–181 (1967).CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. [42]
    A. Studer undJ. R. Frey,Über Hautveränderungen der Ratte nach grossen oralen Dosen von Vitamin A, Schweiz. med. Wschr.79, 382–384 (1949).Google Scholar
  43. [43]
    A. Studer,Zur Wirkung grosser Dosen von Vitamin A im Tierexperiment, Schweiz. Z. allg. Path.13, 799–802 (1950).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. [44]
    A. Studer,Zur Frage der Angriffsorte von Compound E (Cortison), Z. ges. exp. Med.121, 287–418 (1953).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. [45]
    A. Studer undJ. R. Frey,Wirkung von Cortison auf die ruhende und die mit Vitamin A oder Testosteronpropionat zur Proliferation gebrachte Epidermis der Ratte, Dermatologica104, 578–595 (1952).Google Scholar
  46. [46]
    E. Läuppi, unpublished results.Google Scholar
  47. [47]
    D. W. Dresser,Adjuvanticity of Vitamin A, Nature217, 527–529 (1968).PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser-Verlag 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Bollag
    • 1
    • 2
  • F. Ott
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Experimental MedicineF. Hoffmann-La Roche & Co. Ltd.BasleSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of DermatologyUniversity HospitalZürichSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations