Successfully inducing differentiation in ectodermal diseases, retinoids harbour considerable therapeutic potential in the treatment of neuroectodermal-neuroepithelial malignancies. The principal tissue retinoid, retinoic acid, can be potently upregulated in vivo by a relatively specific catabolic inhibitor, R75251 (liarozole). Both substances have been given orally over 2 years in addition to standard treatment, and have been well tolerated. Corresponding closely to plasma retinoid levels, cutaneous side effects facilitate individual dosing. We evaluate this adjuvant retinoid approach and additional efforts to improve therapy of primary CNS malignancies, including the topical administration of retinoids in gamma linolenic acid.