Tretinoin or Renova is used internally for the treatment of cancer - promyelocytic leukemia.
While Tretinoin or Renova is used more often topically for the treatment of acne and aging skin, it can be used orally for a specific type of cancer - promyelocytic leukemia. In this type of cancer, the promyelocytes fail to differentiate into mature granulocytes. Tretinoin or Renova seems to induce the terminal differentiation - gets immature cells to differentiate and mature normally. Clinical remission of cancer occurs without causing bone marrow suppression.
Oral Tretinoin or Renova can cause dry skin, dry mucous membranes, fever, headache, and bone pain. Neurological side effects can also occur.
Pregnant or nursing women cannot use oral Tretinoin or Renova. Children respond well, however their dose has to be lower because of their increased susceptibility to neurological side effects.
Oral Tretinoin or Renova is not intended for maintenance therapy, because resistance quickly develops - maximum of 30-60 days. Consolidation therapy is usually begun immediately.
Oral Tretinoin or Renova therapy is only effective in people with a specific genetic defect - t(15;17) chromosomal translocation.
Tretinoin or Renova should be applied to the skin after it has been cleaned thoroughly, thus it should not be combined with other skin creams or ointments.
The relevant product monographs must be regarded as the appropriate sources of prescribing information.