NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,777 terms related to cancer and medicine.

Browse the dictionary by selecting a letter of the alphabet or by entering a cancer-related word or phrase in the search box.

vitamin A acid
(VY-tuh-min...A-sid)
A nutrient that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Vitamin A acid is made in the body from vitamin A and helps cells to grow and develop, especially in the embryo. A form of vitamin A acid made in the laboratory is put on the skin to treat conditions such as acne and is taken by mouth to treat acute promyelocytic leukemia (a fast-growing cancer in which there are too many immature blood-forming cells in the blood and bone marrow). Vitamin A acid is being studied in the prevention and treatment of other types of cancer. Also called all-trans retinoic acid, ATRA, retinoic acid, and tretinoin.