New Study: Patients with Previous Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer May Lower Risks of Reoccurrence Through Oral Nicotinamide

A recent study found that nicotinamide (a form of Vitamin B3) shows to have some protective effects against non-melanoma skin cancers that are principally caused by UV (ultraviolet radiation).

This study was the third phase of a randomized trial of nicotinamide for skin cancer chemoprevention. During this trial phase which was a double blind, randomized controlled trial, 386 participants were selected who had at least two non-melanoma skin cancers in the previous five years. These trial participants received either 500 mg of nicotinamide or a placebo twice a day for one year.

Each participant in the survey was evaluated by a dermatologist at three-month intervals for 18 months. The main ending point was the determination of the number of occurrences of new non-melanoma skin cancers such as basal-cell carcinomas plus squamous-cell carcinomas that occurred during the 12-month period.

A second end point included the number of new basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, along with the number of actinic keratosis. Additionally, the study recorded the number of non-melanoma skin cancers in the six month post-intervention period, as well as the overall safety of nicotinamide.

The results of the test at the end of the 12 months included:

  • New non-melanoma skin cancers were lowered by 23% in the nicotinamide group
  • New basal-call carcinomas were reduced by 20%
  • New squamous-cell carcinomas had a 30% lower rate
  • Actinic keratoses were 11% lower at the three month mark; 14% lower at six months, 20% lower at nine months, and 13% lower at 12 months.

During the study, there were no adverse events with either group. Additionally, the study concluded that there was no continued benefit after the use of nicotinamide was discontinued.

The overall conclusion of the study was that oral nicotinamide was a safe and effective method to reduce the risks of new non-melanoma cancers and actinic keratosis in high-risk patients.

Says Dr. Thomas Wright, medical director of Laser Lipo and Vein Center, “I think the finding of this study are very encouraging as to the prevention of reoccurring skin cancers.”

He continues, “It is important that if you are in a risk group for skin cancer to get regular check ups or visit a doctor if you notice skin irregularities that may be a symptom of skin cancer”.