County Pathology Blog

A complete diagnostic service

Vitamin May Prevent Skin Cancer | Blog | County Pathology Ltd

Vitamin May Prevent Skin Cancer

Melanoma

Vitamin May Prevents Skin Cancer
Findings from the ONTRAC (Oral Nicotinamide to Reduce Actinic Cancer) trial were published in the October 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

In the phase 3 trial, nicotinamide — an over-the-counter form of vitamin B
— taken twice daily at a dose of 500 mg for 12 months, was compared with placebo.

All 386 study patients had had at least two nonmelanoma skin cancers in the previous 5 years, so were at high risk for more basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. All were Australian residents.

At 12 months, the rate of new nonmelanoma skin cancers was 23% lower in the nicotinamide group than in the placebo group (P = .02).

The median number of new skin cancers developed during the year-long study was lower in the nicotinamide group than in the placebo group (2.4 vs 1.8).

Go ahead and use nicotinamide in high-risk patients, the ONTRAC team concludes.

Nicotinamide "presents a new opportunity for the chemoprevention of nonmelanoma skin cancers that is readily translatable into clinical practice," write the investigators, led by Andrew Chen, MBBS, from the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital at the University of Sydney in Australia.