Chemopreventive efficacy of all-trans-retinoic acid in biodegradable microspheres against epithelial cancers: Results in a 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide-induced oral carcinogenesis model

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Retinoids are known to suppress carcinogenesis in various epithelial tissues. Among them, all-trans-retinoic acid (atRA) is recognized as one such active retinoid. However, despite the known anticarcinogenic activity of atRA, it exhibits its short plasma half-life during repeated oral administration due to the “acute retinoid resistance” in the liver. This has been the major limitation in clinical applications of atRA. Therefore, in order to render atRA more suitable for clinical uses, sustained delivery of atRA using biodegradable microspheres is suggested in this study. When 50 mg atRA/kg of atRA-loaded microspheres were subcutaneously administered to rats once, the atRA concentration in plasma was maintained around 6.5 ng/ml for 7 weeks, with only minor signs of toxicity. When the chemopreventive efficacy of atRA-loaded microspheres was evaluated using a model of 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide-induced oral carcinogenesis in F344 rats, a single injection of atRA-loaded microspheres significantly suppressed oral carcinogenesis. Additional injections of atRA-loaded microspheres, however, did not indicate further suppression of carcinogenesis.

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