Vitamin B Treatment Could Lower Skin Cancer Risk
High-risk skin cancer patients may have a promising new treatment in nicotinamide, a form of the vitamin B3, according to a study published in the _New England Journal of Medicine. _
The study suggests that this specific form of vitamin B3 may be able to reduce the risk of non-melanoma skin cancers in high-risk patients by at least 23 percent by enhancing the repair of UV damaged skin.
The researchers looked at 386 high-risk patients, or patients who had at least two non-melanoma skin cancers in the last five years. Participants were randomly assigned daily nicotinamide or a placebo for one year.
The results showed the rate of new non-melanoma skin cancer was 23 percent lower in the nicotinamide group when compared to the placebo group (who had an incidence rate of around 38 percent).
Nicotinamide is available over-the-counter in most countries, and is generally considered safe and affordable. Researchers hope that future studies will build on this one to see if nicotinamide can help the general population lower its skin cancer risk.