Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab


  • Danielle Liddle
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_7148-8



Fenretinide (N-(4-hydroxyphenyl)retinamide; 4-HPR) is a synthetic analogue of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA; vitamin A) that shows promise both as a chemotherapeutic and chemopreventive agent in a variety of tumor types. Its anticancer actions are attributed to apoptosis induction.


Fenretinide is a synthetic derivative of ATRA that was synthesized by R.W. Johnson Pharmaceuticals, USA, in the late 1960s. Sporn and colleagues assessed its biological activity and discovered that fenretinide accumulated in the breast rather than the liver. In 1979, the first report of fenretinide acting as an anticancer agent was published where it inhibited chemically induced breast cancer in rats. Subsequently, numerous studies have investigated the use of fenretinide as both a chemotherapeutic and chemopreventive agent.

Fenretinide differs from ATRA as the carboxyl functional group is replaced by an amide-linked 4-hydroxyphenyl...


Ovarian Cancer Chemopreventive Agent Delay Tumor Growth Night Blindness Chemoprevention Trial 
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Copyright information

© © Crown Copyright 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gray Institute for Radiation Oncology and Biology, Department of OncologyUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK