John Libbey Eurotext

Bulletin du Cancer


Interferon and retinoic acid in human cancer: clinical and mechanistic studies Volume 85, issue 4, Avril 1998


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Retinoic acid (RA) and interferons (IFN) are negative regulators of cell proliferation. A number of clinical trials were thus carried out in cancer therapy with RA and/or IFN. In vitro and in vivo, their combination leads to a more potent cell growth inhibition. Moreover, RA and IFN act cooperatively to increase the expression of many IFN-stimulated genes, leading also to a higher cell differentiation and inhibition of viral replication. However, the molecular mechanisms by which RA and IFN potentiate each other are not fully understood. The cooperative effects by RA and IFN are mediated through multiple pathways. RA causes the induction and secretion of IFN. RA also stimulates the IFN regulatory factor gene expression (IRF1 and p48). Additional mechanisms could be involved as RA increases the level of signal transducing activators of transcription (Stat) proteins, and thus enhances the IFN- induced Stat activation.