NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

  • Resize font
  • Print
  • Email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Pinterest

The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,812 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.

retinoic acid
(REH-tih-NOH-ik A-sid)
A nutrient that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Retinoic acid is made in the body from vitamin A and helps cells to grow and develop, especially in the embryo. A form of retinoic 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). Retinoic acid is being studied in the prevention and treatment of other types of cancer. Also called all-trans retinoic acid, ATRA, tretinoin, and vitamin A acid.