Nicotinamide (vitamin B3) treatment for 12 months was found to be associated with a reduction in rate of new skin cancers, an Australian study has found.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has investigated whether nicotinamide (vitamin B3) can be used as a treatment to prevent skin cancer, since research has demonstrated protective effects of nicotinamide against UV damage. A total of 386 participants were included in the clinical trial, who had previously been diagnosed with a minimum of two non-melanoma skin cancers. The participants were randomly assigned to receive either 500mg of nicotinamide twice per day, or placebo.
The study reported a 23% reduction in rate of non-melanoma skin cancers in participants who had taken nicotinamide, compared with participants who did not take nicotinamide. Reductions in the rate of basal-cell carcinomas, squamous-cell carcinomas, and actinic keratosis were also noted in the nicotinamide treatment group, compared with the placebo group.
The researchers conclude that in this high-risk population of patients, who had previously been diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer, nicotinamide was safe and effective at reducing the occurrence of both non-melanoma skin cancers, and actinic keratoses.
Andrew C. Chen, Andrew J. Martin, Bonita Choy, Pablo Fernández-Peñas, Robyn A. Dalziell, Catriona A. McKenzie, Richard A. Scolyer, Haryana M. Dhillon, Janette L. Vardy, Anne Kricker, Gayathri St. George, Niranthari Chinniah, Gary M. Halliday, and Diona L. Damian. “A Phase 3 Randomized Trial of Nicotinamide for Skin-Cancer Chemoprevention” N Engl J Med 2015.
Written by Deborah Tallarigo, PhD