Washington DC: A new study has revealed that vitamin B3 derivative can cut risk of new skin cancers.
A year of treatment with nicotinamide, a form of vitamin B3, significantly lowered the risk of common, non-melanoma skin cancer in high-risk patients, according to University of Sydney research.
All 386 participants in the study had a history of skin cancer, increasing their risk for additional skin cancers. Taken as a twice-daily pill for 12 months, nicotinamide reduced the incidence of new non-melanoma skin cancers by 23 per cent relative to placebo controls and cut the incidence of pre-cancerous sun spots by around 15 per cent.
Nicotinamide is safe, affordable, and available over the counter in most countries. The findings have the potential to decrease the health burden and economic cost of skin cancer - the most common form of cancer in fair-skinned populations worldwide.
Senior author, Dr Diona Damian, said that they hope that these findings can be immediately translated into clinical practice. However, people at high risk of skin cancer still need to practice sun safe behaviour, use sunscreens and have regular check-ups with their doctor.
The study appears in New England Journal of Medicine.