May 27, 2015 – Vitamin B and Skin Ca


Anchor lead: Can a supplement reduce some skin cancer recurrences? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Skin cancers are very common, and although only melanoma is usually life-threatening, they can require disfiguring surgery and often recur.  Now an Australian study shows that in people who’ve already had one non-melanoma skin cancer, the B vitamin nicotinamide may help.  William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, explains.

Nelson: They were given nicotinamide orally, 500 mg, a reasonable dose, or a placebo.  The folks that had the placebo they had a median of 2.4 skin cancers.  Only about 1.7 or 1.8 if they had taken the nicotinamide.  Also things like actinic keratoses that may be precursors to skin cancer, they were reduced by nicotinamide, so in this reasonably short exposure to this drug that’s pretty easy to take at those doses, there was a reduction in skin cancers.  I’m sure this will need to be reassessed in another similar trial but this is progress.    :32

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.