A series of p-alkylaminophenols including 3, p-butylaminophenol; 4, p-hexylaminophenol; 5, p-octylaminophenol; and 6, N-(p-methoxybenzyl)aminophenol were synthesized based on the structure of fenretinide, N-(4-hydroxyphenyl)retinamide (1). This latter agent is a synthetic amide of all-trans-retinoic acid (RA), which is a cancer chemopreventive and antiproliferative agent. It was found that elongation of the alkyl chain length in these compounds increased antioxidative activity and inhibition of lipid peroxidation. These findings led us to investigate whether antiproliferative activity against cancer cells was effected by the length of alkyl chains linked to the aminophenol residue. All p-alkylaminophenols inhibited growth of HL60 and HL60R cells in a dose-dependent manners. The HL60R line is a resistant clone against RA. Growth of various cancer cell lines (HL60, HL60R, MCF-7, MCF-7/Adr(R), HepG2, and DU-145) was suppressed by p-alkylaminophenols in a fashion dependent on the aminophenol alkyl chain length (5>4>3>p-methylaminophenol (2)), with 5 being the most potent inhibitor of cell growth against HL60R, MCF-7/Adr(R), and DU-145 cells among p-alkylaminophenols tested, including 1. In particular, with the exception of compound 2, antiproliferative activity against DU-145 cells by these p-alkylaminophenols was greater than by 1. In HL60 cells, growth inhibition was associated with apoptosis. On the other hand, elongation of the alkyl chain length reduced superoxide trapping capability (2>3>4>5) in contrast to the effects on inhibition of lipid peroxidation. These results indicate that anticancer activity of p-alkylaminophenols correlated with the inhibitory activity of lipid peroxidation, but not with the superoxide scavenging activity.