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 chemopreventative agent in a variety of tumor types.Its anti-cancer 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 anti-cancer 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 chemopreventitive agent.
Fenretinide differs from ATRA as the carboxyl functional group is replaced by an amide-linked