Colorectal cancer chemoprevention: The potential of a selective approach

Oded Ben-Amotz, Nadir Arber*, Sarah Kraus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a leading cause of cancer death, and therefore demands special attention. Novel recent approaches for the chemoprevention of CRC focus on selective targeting of key pathways. We review the study by Zhang and colleagues, evaluating a selective approach targeting APC-deficient premalignant cells using retinoid-based therapy and TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL). This study demonstrates that induction of TRAIL-mediated death signaling contributes to the chemopreventive value of all-trans-retinyl acetate (RAc) by sensitizing premalignant adenoma cells for apoptosis without affecting normal cells. We discuss these important findings, raise few points that deserve consideration, and may further contribute to the development of RAc-based combination therapies with improved efficacy. The authors clearly demonstrate a synergistic interaction between TRAIL, RAc and APC, which leads to the specific cell death of premalignant target cells. The study adds to the growing body of literature related to CRC chemoprevention, and provides solid data supporting a potentially selective approach for preventing CRC using RAc and TRAIL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1559-1562
Number of pages4
JournalExpert Review of Anticancer Therapy
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • adematous polyposis coli gene
  • all-trans-retinyl acetate
  • chemoprevention
  • colorectal cancer
  • tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand


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