This review focuses on our efforts to translate a low-toxicity retinoid X receptor-selective agonist, UAB30, to the clinic for the prevention of breast cancers. The review is divided into several sections. First, the current status of breast cancer prevention is discussed. Next, preclinical studies are presented that support translation of rexinoids to the clinic for cancer prevention. While current FDAapproved retinoids and rexinoids demonstrate profound effects in treating cancers, they lack sufficient safety for long term use in the high risk population that is otherwise disease free. The review stresses the need to identify cancer preventive drugs that are effective and safe in order to gain wide use in the clinic. Due to the heterogeneity of the disease, UAB30 is evaluated for the prevention of ER-positive and ER-negative mammary cancers. Since selective estrogen receptor modulators and aromatase inhibitors are used clinically to prevent and treat ER-positive breast cancers, preclinical studies also must demonstrate efficacy of UAB30 in combination with existing drugs under use in the clinic. To support an Investigational New Drug Application to the FDA, data on pharmacology and toxicity as well as mutagenicity is gathered prior to human trials. The review concludes with a discussion of the outcomes of human Phase 0/1 clinical trials that determine the safety and pharmacology of UAB30. These studies are essential before this agent is evaluated for efficacy in phase 2 trials. Success in phase 2 evaluation is critical before long-term and costly phase 3 trials are undertaken. The lack of surrogate biomarkers as endpoints for phase 2 evaluation of rexinoid preventive agents is discussed.