Prevention of lung cancer progression by bexarotene in mouse models

Y. Wang, Z. Zhang, R. Yao, D. Jia, D. Wang, R. A. Lubet, M. You

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Bexarotene (Targretin™, Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc.) is a synthetic high-affinity RXR receptor agonist with limited affinity for RAR receptors. Bexarotene has shown efficacy in a phase I/II trial of non-small-cell lung cancers. However, the chemopreventive efficacy of bexarotene has not been determined in mouse lung cancer models. In this study, we have investigated the ability of bexarotene to inhibit lung tumor progression in the mutant A/J mouse models with genetic alterations in p53 or K-ras, two of the most commonly altered genes in human lung tumorigenesis. Mice were administered vinyl carbamate (VC), a carcinogen, by a single intraperitoneal injection (i.p.) at 6 weeks of age. Bexarotene was given by gavage starting at 16 weeks after VC and was continued for 12 weeks. Although all mice developed lung tumors, only 7% of lung tumors were adenocarcinomas in wild-type mice, whereas 22 and 26% of lung tumors were adenocarcinomas in p53 transgenic or K-ras heterozygous deficient mice. Bexarotene inhibited both tumor multiplicity and tumor volume in mice of all three genotypes. Furthermore, bexarotene reduced the progression of adenoma to adenocarcinoma by ∼50% in both p53wt/wtK-rasko/wt and p53wt/wtK-raswt/wt mice. Thus, bexarotene appears to be an effective preventive agent against lung tumor growth and progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1320-1329
Number of pages10
Issue number9
StatePublished - Mar 2 2006


  • Bexarotene
  • Chemoprevention
  • Lung cancer
  • Mouse models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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